The Anniversary

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Q: For our silver anniversary, we went out to dinner at a very plush restaurant.  As always, my husband held his liquor very well.  He was an active young man, although we had our disagreements, and left the table.  An unlocked and unmarked swinging door opened out from the dining area – clearing a tiny interior landing at the top of some steps.  The steps descended into a basement employee area.  That is where my husband was found.  No one saw it happen.

A: A plaintiff does not always need witnesses: causation can properly be based on logical inferences from circumstantial evidence.  Your attorney will seek to prove such matters as: that the stairs were installed a long time ago; that the stair treads were wooden and visibly deteriorated – bowed and worn; that there was no nonslip adhesive; that the riser height and tread depths were abnormal; that the handrail was ungraspable; and that there is a history of people falling on these stairs.  Surely, there should have been a sign on the door restricting access.  You appear to have much on which to base a case.

The restaurant will argue that it maintained the premises in a reasonably safe condition and neither created nor had notice of a dangerous condition, and that a conclusion that its negligence was the cause of your husband’s fall is based on pure speculation.  However, from what you tell me, it appears that a jury can logically infer that the dangerous condition of this staircase caused that fall.

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.

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