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Can I Sue a Commercial Landlord for Slip-and-Fall?

Slip-and-fall cases are among the most common personal injury cases. People slip, fall down, and hurt themselves far more often than the general population realizes. If you have fallen and gotten injured because of someone else's negligence on a commercial property, you are probably wondering if you have a personal injury case.

The Massachusetts Appeals Court considered this issue in the case of Navarro v. Bond (Lawyers Weekly No. 81-636-13, an unpublished opinion.) In Navarro, the court considered the elements of a negligence case. To have a case, the plaintiff must show that there is a duty, a breach of that duty, a causal link between the breach and the injury, and there must be damages.

In the Navarro case, the plaintiff slipped and fell on ice in the parking lot of his employer. Navarro was unable to sue his employer because it was immune to suit under our worker's compensation system. So, Navarro looked to the owner of the parking lot: his employer's landlord.

Unfortunately for Navarro, as the court noted, the Landlord had no duty to keep the parking lot clear of snow and ice. That duty belonged to the employer, who had kept the lot clean of snow and ice and maintained complete control over the lot for decades.

Had the lot been under the control of the landlord, had the landlord contracted to keep it clean, or had the landlord provided the tenant the equipment to be used in keeping the property clean, there would be a stronger argument in support of liability of the landlord.

Looking for a personal injury attorney in Boston? Call our office at 866-995-6663 and speak with one for free today.

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