Articles Posted in Premises Liability

In some Alabama slip-and-fall cases, defendants may argue that they should not be held liable because the hazard that caused the plaintiff’s injuries was obvious. In those cases, courts look at each party’s evidence concerning whether a hazard was perceived or should have been perceived by the plaintiff.In a recent case, a McDonald’s restaurant argued before the Alabama Supreme Court that a wet floor was an open and obvious hazard. In that case, the plaintiff slipped and fell at a McDonald’s and sued the restaurant for his injuries. The man fell after he left the restroom and was walking toward the counter. The plaintiff left the restaurant after the fall but then began experiencing pain in his back and left leg, and he went back to discuss the incident with the manager. Surveillance footage showed an employee mopping the floor in front of the counter and placing a warning sign that the floor was wet. The plaintiff stated that his fall occurred outside the surveillance footage areas and was not shown on camera.

The restaurant argued that the fall was caused by an open and obvious danger because it was obvious that the floor had just been mopped, and there was a warning sign indicating as much. However, the Court found that based on the plaintiff’s affidavit, the plaintiff did not fall on the water near the counter, but instead on a “slick spot” outside the restroom.

Continue reading

In a recent personal injury case before the Alabama Supreme Court, a plaintiff filed a lawsuit against a hospital after allegedly being injured by a patient while she was also a patient in a psychiatric unit at a hospital. The defendant, “Brookwood Health Services Inc.,” claimed that it was not properly served and that the suit was untimely because it was filed beyond the statute of limitations. Under the Alabama Medical Liability Act, a two-year statute of limitations applied in the case.The patient filed a complaint in the case on October 8, 2016 but named “Brookwood Baptist Health LLC” as fictitiously named defendants. The patient filed an amended complaint on June 3, 2017 naming instead “Brookwood Baptist Health Services” and requested that “Brookwood Health Services Inc.” be served.

The hospital argued that the two-year statute of limitations expired on October 10, 2016, and that the amended complaint did not “relate back” to the original filing because the patient did not satisfy the requirements of Rule 15(c)(3) of the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure.

Continue reading