An Unwelcome Mat

Home » Legally Speaking Posts » An Unwelcome Mat

Q: While exiting a public school, after voting there, I tripped and fell over a rolled up mat.  It was positioned several feet in front of the door inside the school.  The power had failed.  Only a few emergency lights were working.  An incident report prepared shortly after my accident commented that the area where I fell was ‘dark’ due to the power loss.

A: A defendant has constructive notice of a defect when the defect is visible and apparent and has existed for a sufficient length of time prior to the accident to permit the defendant’s employees to discover and remedy it.  The school may wish to argue that the power outage furnishes an excuse from liability, but I doubt that the school can muster sufficient evidence to support that argument.

A plaintiff seeking to recover in tort against a municipality must serve a notice of claim to enable authorities to investigate, collect evidence and evaluate the merits of the claim.  The notice of claim must set forth information including the nature of the claim, and the time, place, and manner in which the claim arose.  The notice of claim must include information sufficient to enable the municipality to investigate the claim.

There are time limits to a notice of claim, so be sure to see an attorney right away.  Indeed, that is my advice with regard to any potential lawsuit, not just against a municipality.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

Copyright © 2014-2020 Scott Baron & Associates, P.C. All rights reserved. 159-49 Cross Bay Boulevard, Howard Beach, New York 11414 1750 Central Park Ave, Yonkers, NY 10710 718-738-9800, 914-337-9800, 1-866-927-4878