Recently, a Florida state appeals court overturned a ruling from the circuit court below that a woman was responsible in part for a slip-and-fall accident that occurred while she was wearing high heels.
The original case was heard in St. Johns County, where a female employee sustained serious injuries after a slip-and-fall accident in the bathroom of the office building where she worked. At the time of the accident, the woman was wearing 4-to-5-inch heels. A judge ruled that she was partially negligent, assigning 50% of the blame to her. In ruling this way, the judge agreed with the company’s argument that one of her co-workers who was wearing more sensible shoes was able to avoid falling on the wet floor.
The employee appealed, and a three-judge panel at the Florida court of appeals overturned the ruling and sent it back to the original judge to decide in favor of the employee.
The appeals court declared that the employer failed to meet its burden in the case, which was to show that the employee “created a foreseeable zone of risk” by choosing to wear high-heeled shoes to work.
In slip-and-fall cases, and other types of accidents that potentially involve negligence, the concept of a zone of risk is often the key to one party prevailing over the other. When a party is found to be responsible for creating a foreseeably risky situation, such as leaving puddles of water on a slick bathroom floor, Florida case law says that the defendant has a duty to lessen the risk and take sufficient precautions to protect others from the harm that the risk poses. If the defendant fails to guard against the risk, they can be made to pay for the injuries sustained by a party who happens to find themselves within this zone of risk.
Slip-and-Fall Victims Deserve Compensation
The experienced team at Barrett, Fasig & Brooks has successfully prosecuted hundreds of slip and fall cases, large and small, in the Tallahassee area. The verdicts and settlements that we have helped our clients secure ranging from a few hundred dollars to over a million.
Commonly, slip and fall cases result from wet, uneven, or improperly maintained surfaces, or from poorly marked signage advertising the danger. If you are injured on someone else’s premises, whether at work or in the community due to a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The process of securing compensation for the injuries, pain and suffering that you have experienced can be long and complicated. First, you would need the help of a lawyer to file a civil lawsuit, which could lead to either a settlement agreement, or more rarely, a trial. At issue throughout the process would be whether the defendant had a duty to keep you safe, and whether they breached this duty by failing to do so by reasonably maintaining their premises. A knowledgeable slip & fall lawyer can negotiate on your behalf, and ensure that you secure the compensation that you are due. Barrett, Fasig & Brooks can represent you for slip and fall cases in Florida and South Georgia.