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ICYMI: Matthew Stinnett Talks “Slip and Fall Injury” Lawsuits in Business First of Louisville
Posted in Litigation

Did you see the latest Legal Forum Column in Business First of Louisville? Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP partner Matthew A. Stinnett discussed the impact two Supreme Court of Kentucky opinions have on business owners in regards to premise liability in “slip and fall injury” lawsuits.

Read Stinnett’s advice for business owners below from this month’s column, and don’t forget to catch our monthly Legal Forum Column in your copy of Business First of Louisville!

TOPIC
As a business owner, am I at risk if a customer on my property slips on a wet floor?

ADVICE FROM MATTHEW A. STINNETT
On Nov. 21, 2013 the Supreme Court of Kentucky published two opinions that likely sound the death knell for the long-standing “open-and-obvious” defense for landowners. The defense previously stated that landowners were not liable when visitors were injured due to open-and-obvious conditions (e.g., potholes, rain puddles).  Guests can assume the premises are safe, but they cannot walk blindly into dangers that are obvious.

With the recent decisions, however, the Court narrowed the defense. Now even if a condition is open-and-obvious, a landowner has the burden to establish that they exhausted all alternative measures to minimize the dangers associated with the open-and-obvious condition. Under this new rubric, landowners have little ability to dismiss slip-and-fall lawsuits in the early stages of litigation. Rather, if a customer files a lawsuit for a slip-and-fall injury, a landowner is practically forced to either risk a trial or pay a settlement—closing the door on using the open-and-obvious doctrine as substantive defense. So, in short, you are most certainly at risk.

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