Settlement in Slip and Fall Case: The Importance of a Thorough Investigation
One evening last summer, a young gentleman was spending time at a local, popular nightclub in downtown Minneapolis. Unfortunately, he slipped and fell to the ground while walking toward the dance floor. Immediately after falling down, this man noticed that he had slipped on a wet floor and this was the reason for this unlucky incident. He also observed a small leak from the ceiling that was the reason there was water accumulation on the floor.
This individual contacted our law firm to see whether he had a potential case so that he can be compensated for his personal injuries. He sustained a serious leg injury in the fall and received a course of treatment. Our firm agreed to represent him in this matter.
In Minnesota, the owner or operator of a premise has a duty to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition or at least warn individuals of dangerous conditions of which the owner or possessor of the land caused, knew about or should have known about.
Based on what our client told us, we felt that the property owners in this case demonstrated a failure to maintain the property in a safe condition or simply failed to correct a dangerous condition which they knew about or, upon reasonable inspection, should have known about. It was our legal opinion that the owners of the premises where our client fell were in breach of their duty to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition.
The property owners, however, took a strong position that they were not responsible for our client’s injuries. In fact, they (through their attorneys) submitted sworn Affidavits from people who worked at the nightclub the night of the fall. All of the employees who submitted the Affidavits denied that there was a leaking ceiling at the nightclub. They also denied that there was any water on the floor where our client fell. This completely contradicted our client’s version of events.
The matter proceeded through the litigation process. Our firm prides itself in being able to fully and comprehensively investigate all of our cases. In this case, we knew that it was crucial to interview as many people as possible who may have had information regarding this incident. This included interviewing the witnesses who submitted sworn Affidavits for the defendants.
One of the individuals we talked to, a bouncer at the nightclub on the date of this incident, was able to provide some pertinent information. He was no longer employed by the nightclub when we were able to track him down. When our investigators reached out to him and had a lengthy interview with him, this former employee felt it was necessary for him to finally tell the truth.
According to this witness, the owners of the club paid their employees to submit false Affidavits in this matter. The owners wanted desperately to maintain the façade that they were not legally responsible for our client’s injuries. This former bouncer provided a written statement that our client fell on a wet floor at the nightclub and that the ceiling did, in fact, have a leak. Presented with this information, the owners of the nightclub quickly (and wisely) realized that it was in their best interest to resolve this case amicably; our client settled his case for a considerable amount!!!
As a law firm, we know that it is of the upmost importance to thoroughly investigate every case and every matter whether it is a car accident, slip and fall accident, an alleged criminal offense, etc.
If you have been injured as a result of a slip and fall, please contact our firm for a free consultation.