North Carolina Appellate Court Upholds Defense Verdict in Aquarium Trip and Fall Injury Case

Accidents can happen anywhere, including public places. When it comes to suing an entity for injuries that you sustained in a slip and fall accident, in general, you must prove that the defendant knew or should have known that a dangerous condition existed on the property and that it failed to make the condition safe or to provide a warning. At Maurer Law, our seasoned team of Asheville personal injury lawyers is prepared to help you explore whether you are entitled to compensation and the best way to go about securing the settlement or judgment that you deserve. We know how overwhelming this situation can be for you and your family, especially if you are suffering from painful injuries. Don’t wait to contact us because time may be running out on your claim.

In a recent case, the plaintiff alleged that she suffered injuries when she fell at an aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores during a Halloween-themed event. She required a hip replacement as a result of the fall. In her complaint, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant was negligent in failing to maintain the common areas of the property and in failing to warn people about the presence of a dangerous condition. The defendant denied the allegations and argued that the plaintiff was contributorily negligent. Initially, the assigned Commissioner concluded that the defendant was negligent, and that the plaintiff was not contributorily negligent. It awarded the plaintiff damages in the amount of roughly $72,000.

The defendant appealed the matter to the Full Commission, which reversed on the basis that the plaintiff failed to prove that the defendant knew or should have known that a dangerous condition existed on the premises.

Specifically, the court concluded that the plaintiff did not prove that the bridge on which she fell was designed in an unsafe manner or that a warning should have been placed around the bridge. The plaintiff alleged that she tripped on a board attached to the beginning of the bridge and that the board was so high that it created a danger of tripping.

On review, the appellate court upheld the Full Commission’s finding that the plaintiff did not meet her burden of proof. The plaintiff did not provide enough evidence to show that the height of the board at the beginning of the bridge would create a trip hazard. Instead, the record showed that the aquarium had beveled the board in a manner that would make it accessible for wheelchairs and that there was no evidence in the record suggesting that the beveled board would cause pedestrians to trip.

If you were injured in a trip and fall accident, contact us immediately to set up a free consultation to discuss your potential right to recovery. Our diligent team of legal professionals knows firsthand how overwhelming this situation probably is for you and your loved ones. We will guide you through each phase of the legal process while ensuring that your rights are asserted to the fullest extent and that you are treated fairly. Call us now at 1-844-817-8058 or contact us online to get started.