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Premises liability case highlights business' failure to take responsibility

When it comes to safety in places of business, most of us expect that businesses are going to be proactive in dealing with dangerous conditions that exist on the premises. We assume that if there is a condition on the property that presents a significant risk to patrons, the condition will be addressed in a timely manner. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen and injury can occur as a result.

When a business patron is injured, the right thing for the business to do in most circumstances is to take responsibility for the injury. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen either. Take a recent lawsuit filed in a California court. The case involved a man who allegedly acquired a knee injury when he jumped and landed on a defective floor board at a Levittown, New York 24 Hour Fitness in January 2014. The man, at the time of the injury, had been participating in an activity offered by the club.

The health club’s response to the complaint was not to take responsibility, but rather to put the blame back on the club patron by arguing that he assumed the risk of injury by engaging in the activity offered by the club. The fitness center also denied that there was any defect, claiming it conducted regular inspections. Its motion to dismiss the personal injury suit, however, was denied.

Among the reasons for the denying the motion, according to sources, was that the health club didn’t back up its claim that it conducted regular inspections and it is for a jury to decide whether the healthy club’s negligence caused a dangerous condition over and above the danger inherent in the activity in which the patron was participating, as well as whether the patron was at all negligent himself.

In upcoming posts, we’ll continue this discussion and look at the issue of premises liability in more general terms and why it is important for accident victims to work with experienced legal counsel.

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