There have probably been times where you have walked through the parking lot of your local grocery store or supermarket and seen huge cracks in the pavement, or a pothole or some other hazard. You probably thought to yourself “yikes, glad I didn’t step in that.” And then you probably wondered what would actually happen if someone did, indeed, step in or on one of these hazards and fell as a result. Could they sue? Who is at fault for such an incident?
The answer to the first question is yes. If you fall as a result of a pothole or a pavement defect, then you are certainly within your rights to pursue civil action against the people in charge of the premises. There’s no guarantee you will win said lawsuit, as the circumstances of each case vary. But, you could certainly pursue a lawsuit.
The second question is a bit more complicated, but in some cases, the store or company is held liable for failing to maintain a safe premises. Such is the case in a trip and fall — as opposed to a slip-and-fall, which is a similar type of premises liability incident — where a woman who was carrying her granddaughter through a Walmart parking lot until she stepped in a two-inch hole.
The fall left them both injured, and the woman is suing Walmart for knowing about the hazards and failing to fix it. The woman seeks damages for medical bills, loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering.
Source: Louisiana Record, “Walmart sued in trip and fall of woman, granddaughter,” Lizzy Fitzsousa, Feb. 25, 2014