Was it the Oil?

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Q: While bowling, I slipped and fell.  I had seen beads of oil on my bowling ball before I fell, and fell in the area in which I released my bowling ball.  The bowling-alley manager has admitted that beads of oil should not accumulate on the ball, and that their existence might indicate excessive oiling of the lanes.  He has further admitted that the lanes had recently been oiled, and that sometimes the oiling machine would drip oil on the approach to the lane – so much that the oil needed to be wiped up with a rag.  The accident report, which was prepared by the manager within 20 minutes of the accident, recites that I slipped on oil.

A: Sometimes a defendant will prevail by submitting evidence that you cannot identify the cause of his or her fall without engaging in speculation.  That does not seem likely here.

As you tell it, the only possible cause of your accident is the excessive amount of oil.  You are not required to offer evidence which positively excludes every other possible cause of the accident.  You need not eliminate every other possible cause.  It is enough that you show facts and conditions from which the negligence of the defendant and the causation of the accident by that negligence may be reasonably inferred.

In other words, the existence of remote possibilities that factors other than the oil may have caused the accident does not require that the defendant prevail.  True, where there are two possible causes, and it is just as reasonable and probable that the injury was the result of the non-defendant cause, you cannot have a recovery.  But that does not appear to be the case.

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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