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Slip and Fall

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by snowinjoe, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. snowinjoe

    snowinjoe Senior Member
    Messages: 180

    Looking for advice about slip and fall lawsuits. My boss received a letter in the mail that said he was being sued for a fall that happened on dec 11 2002. What should his first step be? Is there a statue of limitation's in Ontario about this? His records show that the apartment was plowed and sanded on the 9th. After talking to the owner we found out that her son was fired two years ago. He was the super. He sued the owner for a fall but never made it to court. This lawsuit from his mom is news to the owner. We only have a verbal contract with the owner. Seems like a scam doesn't it .
  2. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    Was the letter from her or her lawyer?
  3. snowinjoe

    snowinjoe Senior Member
    Messages: 180

    the letter was from the building owners ins. company.
  4. CMerLand

    CMerLand Senior Member
    Messages: 173

    In my opinion your boss better get out the super lube because hes about to be screwed on so many fronts.

    Here in NJ, you have a two year window after an accident to file a personal injury claim lawsuit. Many people will wait until just prior to the two year deadline, getting treatment and running up the bill throughout, and then filing the claim. The reason they do this is they are counting on memories to fade, records to disappear, and allow those that did the work to scatter to the winds to make it harder to win your case.

    That her son was fired and now Mom is suing is completely irrelavent. If she claims she was injured on the site, has even just one credible witness and received treatment in short order after the date she said she allegedly fell, then the lawsuit can proceed.

    So the next step is to contact his insurance company and let them know that he's received a letter of intent to sue. Your insurance company will then contact her lawyer to look into the claims, and will contact you for your records, the most important one being YOUR CONTRACT. With just a verbal contract, your screwed seven ways to Sunday. In a written contract, you spell out the terms and conditions of who is responsible not only for what and when the work is done, but the scope and terms of any continuing care for the property. You plowed and sanded on the 9th, who was responsible for salting? No contract you are. Who was responsible for monitoring the site after the storm to keep it free from ice after the storm? No contract, you are. Hell, he doesnt even have a release of liabilty form, which wouldnt do him any good but at least would show that his liabilty extended to just the work completed.

    Fortunately, your boss wont be alone in the courtroom because I'm sure she'll be suing the apartment building where she fell, the super and John Does 1-15 in case they find out someone else may have held a partial responsibilty (and deep pockets to collect from) to the proper care and managment of the site.

    Without a contract, hes only hope is that shes willing to take whatever settlement offer your insurance company is forced to offer her. Because without that and it goes to trial, I wouldnt want to be in his shoes to explain the "verbal contract" that said it wasnt his responsibilty to keep the property clear of ice, even when its not snowing out.
  5. RidgeCon

    RidgeCon Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    Get a lawyer to do all this for you. Don't contact them yourself. You have the paperwork showing you showed due diligence in care and go from there.
  6. f350dieselemt

    f350dieselemt Member
    Messages: 89


    that is whacked
  7. bolensdriver

    bolensdriver Senior Member
    Messages: 603

    If it's plowed and sanded, the owner of the area is able to be sued. If it's not plowed or sanded, they can't be sued as it'd be classified under natural winter conditions.
  8. Elsewhere

    Elsewhere Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    The Supreme Court granted leave to appeal on two issues: (1) whether plaintiff could establish a duty owed to her arising from a contract to which she was not a party and (2) whether a landowner’s defenses are available to a contractor acting for the landowner. In reversing the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court resolved the first issue in favor of the defendant CML and did not reach the second issue. In its decision, the Supreme Court rejected plaintiff’s argument that CML owed a common-law duty to plaintiff and held that plaintiff’s remedy was available solely against the premises owner. The question for negligence claims brought against a contractor on the basis of a maintenance contract between a premises owner and that contractor is whether the contractor breached a duty separate and distinct from those assumed under the contract. The Supreme Court found in this case that the contractor owed no duty to plaintiff and, thus, her claim failed. Two justices filed a separate opinion, concurring in the result but disagreeing with the rationale used by the majority.

    Read Fultz v. Union-Commerce Associates.
  9. jpunlimited

    jpunlimited Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    one thing I learned

    I learned from watching insurance Co.s that when being sued : just drag your feet at every turn. the way your boss can drag his feet is in the discovery and depositions. this whole thing sounds like a scam and it is very expensive to pull off a scam like this. so the property owners insurance company will get involved and it will bog down. the way it is described it sounds like the person hurt worked for the company. In my state this would go through workmans comp. and the guy would be lucky to get medical expenses covered.
  10. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    Does your boss have insurance?
  11. intlco

    intlco Senior Member
    Messages: 183

    Since these lawsuits are more common in big cities, I would suggest putting a line in your contract that states that you and or your company cannot and will not be held liabile for accidents or injuries resulting from snow or ice as these are conditions beyond your control.
    Then the property owner will be responsible.

    We have a simular situation out here, the state only rocks the roads and hwy and don't plow snow. As a result, you break over a dozen windshields a year from big trucks, and mini vans and cars with hwy tires throwing up these rocks.
    We can't hold the other driver liabile for the damage to our vehicle or windshield. So we get stuck for the cost out of our pocket cause insurance here will not cover windshields anymore knowing this happens because they consider this caused by road conditions.
  12. snowinjoe

    snowinjoe Senior Member
    Messages: 180

    I forwarded your comments to the boss and he"ll be contacting his insurance company Monday. I'll keep you up to date. Turns out that the women has moved and is now living in another property we take care of. Sometimes its nice being an employee no bullsh%t, just lots of plowin fun.