Ohio Law On Slip And Fall Cases

by Dean Pavick on March 28, 2014

Customers injured on commercial property in Ohio have an uphill battle in winning their cases against the storekeeper based upon strict standards established by Ohio courts. In slip and fall cases, the customer must prove that the store owner or an employee either caused the substance to end up on the floor/ground directly leading to the fall ,or, that the substance was on the floor/ground long enough that a store employee should have either discovered the substance and removed it, or warned customers of the dangerous hazard. Under Ohio law, storekeepers are not liable for injured patrons who slip and fall on tracked in precipitation(i.e. snow or rain). In trip and fall cases, the injured party must establish that the storekeeper owed its customers(business invitees) a duty of ordinary care in maintaining the  premises in a reasonably safe condition so that invitees are not unreasonably exposed to unnecessary danger and to warn of hidden dangers. However, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that property owners are not absolute insurers for the safety of their patrons.

In recent years the court-made open and obvious defense has further limited the rights of injured plaintiffs to recover for their personal injuries. Ohio courts have held repeatedly that property owners have no duty to persons entering the premises regarding dangers that are open and obvious. The rationale is that the open and obvious nature of the hazard itself serves as a warning, so that owners may reasonably expect their invitees to discover the hazard and take appropriate measures to protect themselves against it . The dangerous condition itself , however, does not actually have to be observed by the plaintiff to be an open and obvious condition under the law. The only exception is if the individual was distracted by an unusual circumstance created by the properly owner(very rare).

Premises liability cases are fact specific.The specific facts are usually the ultimate difference as to whether  injured plaintiffs successfully recover money for their damages or whether their case gets thrown out of court on a granted motion for summary judgment. An experienced Akron personal injury attorney can evaluate the facts and law to help determine whether the injured party has a premises liability case worth pursuing against the property owner.

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