The Contested Step

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Q: In an apartment building, while walking downstairs from the second floor, I placed my foot on a step, and fell.  Looking back, I saw that the step had a broken edge.  Later in the day, my daughter took photographs of the steps from the second floor down, retracing my route.  I recognize a broken step in one of the photographs as the spot where I fell.

The super says that, earlier, he had inspected the stairs and discovered only one defect.  But that was between the second and third floors, above the area that I descended.  The super says that the photo that I identify as showing the cause of my fall actually depicts that step above the second floor.

A: A landowner has a duty to maintain his or her premises in a reasonably safe manner.  In order for a landowner to be liable in tort to a plaintiff who is injured as a result of an allegedly defective condition upon property, it must be established that a defective condition existed and that the landowner affirmatively created the condition or had actual or constructive notice of its existence.

Your attorney will point out that credibility and the reconciliation of contradictions or inconsistencies in the testimony present questions of fact for the jury.  Any discrepancies simply create a credibility issue for the trier of fact.  It is for the jury to make determinations as to your credibility and that of your daughter, as opposed to the credibility of the super.

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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