Middlesex Superior Court Judge Sues Massachusetts and Norfolk County for Slip and Fall Accident

In Massachusetts, Middlesex Superior Court Judge Paul Chernoff is suing the state of Massachusetts and Norfolk County for the injuries he sustained when he slipped and fell on the steps of the Norfolk County Courthouse in Lowell in 2004. The commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Norfolk County Commission, and the Division of Capital Asset Management were named as the parties held liable for not making sure that the building was maintained properly.

In his lawsuit, Chernoff alleges that his slip and fall accident occurred because the county and the state did not repair the cracks in the steps of the court building or add handrails. As a result of the unsafe conditions, Chernoff says that he slipped and broke his left kneecap. Since Chernoff’s accident, new handrails have been added to the staircase.

Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents usually occur because the grounds of a premise are not safe-either because of disrepair, failure to clean up a slippery/condition or pick up debris or objects off the ground, poor lighting, uneven flooring, or other circumstances that could easily have been prevented if the area was properly maintained. Because of the unsafe conditions, a person may slip and/or trip and then fall, sustaining injuries as a result.

In 2001 The National Safety Council named fall accidents as the number one cause of non-fatal injuries requiring immediate medical treatment, with thousands of people getting hurt. Fall accidents, however, can also be fatal-especially when someone drops from a higher level to a lower one. In 2002, some 14,500 people died in fall accidents. Bruises, broken bones, sprains, torn ligaments, dislocated limbs, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, head and neck injuries, are among the injuries that can occur.

Slip and fall injury cases fall under the area of premises liability law, which holds the owner or manager or other person in charge of a property liable for allowing the unsafe conditions that caused the injury accident to exist on the premise.

Slip and fall accidents can occur on private and public premises, including parks, parking lots, sidewalks, outside steps, restaurants, grocery stores, apartment buildings, and office buildings.

Judge slips and sues the county, Daily News Transcript, January 10, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Slip and Fall Injury Statistics, Safety Today
National Safety Council

Slip and Fall, Nolo.com

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