Halloran Sage attorney, Robert Rhodes, obtained favorable judgments in two separate slip and fall claims at a Connecticut casino.
In one of these two cases, the plaintiff alleged that she slipped and fell on the casino property due to water on the stairs, resulting in personal injuries that greatly affected her quality of life.
The plaintiff argued that moisture from the constantly flowing waterfall nearby accumulated on the steps where she fell. She also argued that the defendant was negligent in failing to place contrasting strips or similar demarcation at the edge of the steps to help patrons differentiate one step from another.
The defense countered that there is no requirement in the Connecticut Building Code that would mandate that the defendant install stripping on the steps to delineate each step. Furthermore, there was no evidence to support the plaintiff’s position that moisture had accumulated on the stairs. Testimony from the plaintiff at the time of the incident indicated that she had miss-stepped while walking down the stairs. The plaintiff’s husband testified during his deposition that he did not observe or recall observing any substance on the steps when he was with his wife following the incident.
Additionally, testimony from the Director of Risk Management indicated no prior claims of tripping in the area in question dating back two years. Video surveillance from the time of the incident also showed about 40 patrons walking through the area prior to the fall without incident, and another 40 patrons walking through after the fall without incident.
In the other case, the plaintiff fell in front of the Ben & Jerry’s store on the concourse in the Casino.
In the twenty minutes prior to the incident, video surveillance shows over 100 people walking over or very close to the location of the fall without incident or distraction.
Surveillance also shows the following within 20 seconds of the incident: two people approach the area of the fall holding cups in their hands. A few seconds after they walk past, another person walks across the area and appears to look down at the floor. Within a few more seconds, an employee walks near the area, turns around and proceeds to Ben & Jerry’s. While the employee is in Ben & Jerry’s, the Plaintiff walks into the area and falls.
The Casino employee shown on the video surveillance testified that she saw a small patch of liquid on the floor and went into Ben & Jerry’s looking for napkins.
The Court found that the substance was spilled onto the floor only seconds before the Plaintiff’s fall, which is insufficient time to discover and remedy the situation. Furthermore, the Court found that the employee’s actions to try and clean the spill herself as quickly as possible were reasonable and prudent.
Following trials in the Gaming Disputes Trial Court, judgments were rendered in favor of the Casino in both cases.