Landlord Liable for Guest’s Sidewalk Injury

by | Feb 18, 2013 | Rental Property Management Tips

A woman who fell on a sidewalk outside her daughter’s apartment building has received a verdict of $500,000 against the landlord and insurer.

According to the victim’s attorneys, the Woodland Hills, California personal injury firm of Freeman & Freeman, LLP, the woman slipped on an uneven portion of sidewalk directly in front of her daughter’s apartment building. Her attorneys successfully argued that the sidewalk was raised up due to the landlord’s lack of maintenance on tree roots.

The landlord and its insurance carriers said that they did not previously know about the condition of the sidewalk, and that it was not enough of a hazard to likely cause anyone danger. The landlord further contended that the condition of the sidewalk was easily visible to the victim, and that the victim herself was comparatively negligent for not being aware of her surroundings as she was walking.

Attorney Stan Freeman, representing the victim, explains, “Slip and fall cases are notoriously difficult to prove, since the burden is on the plaintiff to show that a dangerous condition has existed for an unreasonable amount of time and even then, the plaintiff is often found negligent for not watching where they are walking.”

However, the Freeman firm pursued the case aggressively, and ultimately was successful.  According to a statement they released, the landlord and insurer initially offered $40,000 to settle the case. At trial, the jury returned a gross verdict in the sum of $500,000, based on the extent of the victim’s injuries, including the need for future medical treatment.

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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