Grand Haven Courthouse Takes Responsibility for Icy Steps

Posted on : October 30, 2017

A man in Ottawa County slipped on a step leading to the Grand Haven courthouse. He was injured as a result. In a surprising move, the court owned up to the recent misconstruction of the steps. Read more about the case below.

The Case

James Paggeot, a Grand Haven resident, unexpectedly encountered a slippery step on his way to the Ottawa county courthouse. Despite the recent rebuild of the steps due to a number of slip and fall accidents, Mr. Paggeot fell and suffered severe injury. He sought more than $25,000 in damages.

Although many public places deny responsibility for slip and falls, the courthouse admitted that the steps were improperly constructed. Al Vanderberg, the Ottawa County Administrator, suggests that the steps were uneven and the height, width, and depth were off. Additionally, the steps’ built-in heating system wasn’t working properly. Therefore, they couldn’t keep the steps free of ice and snow. Ice and snow are known slip and fall hazards. It is unclear whether the county took other measures to keep the steps free of danger, such as applying salt.

Are Public Places Responsible for Weather Hazards?

Arguably, ice and snow are out of an establishment’s control. However, under the law, establishments still have a responsibility to keep their property free of hazards. This means clearing out snow and ice from walkways, steps, and foyers in a timely fashion. It also means taking measures to ensure that future problems with ice and snow are avoided. For example, had the Ottawa County courthouse steps’ heating element been working properly, snow and ice would never have accumulated.

Were You Injured in a Weather Related Slip and Fall?

If you were the victim of a slip and fall outside of an establishment that allowed snow or ice to accumulate in an area where patrons frequent (such as the outside of a store), you may be eligible for compensation for damages you incurred. Medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages may be included in a lawsuit against the negligent property owner and/or manager.

Gregory Bevel and Wesley Gould Injury Lawyers understand how difficult life can be after a slip and fall. We are dedicated to providing you with compassionate, comprehensive legal support as you face the challenges ahead. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your case in detail by calling (214) 580-2555.

Posted in : Gregory H. Bevel

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