Visitor Question

Who’s liable for a chair sliding on floor?

Submitted By: Theresa (Orange, CA)


I arrived at Pechanga Casino after 12:00 a.m. I walked straight to the cocktail lounge and up to the bar, went to sit on chair located at the very end of the bar, but the chair kept sliding away on wood floor. I fell and landed on the brass bar (located underneath bar) on the back of my head and back, with my left elbow hitting the floor. The bartender called for the EMT unit from the casino.

The EMTs arrived and the Manager came and took my blood pressure, pictures, and wanted to know if I wanted an ambulance. My neck was swollen and I had a very large bump on my head, and my elbow was already bruised. But I declined the ambulance.

My question is, who is liable? There was no water on the floor but no rubber grip underneath the chair leg to stop it sliding on the waxed wood floors. Is this negligence?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Theresa,

The casino may be liable for your  injuries. However, there are several considerations…

Under premises liability law, casino owners have a legal duty of care to do everything within reason to assure their patrons are safe from undue harm and injury. This duty would extend to making sure the chairs in the bar area do not slip on the wooden floor.

Many casinos have rubber tips under the four legs of the chairs in the bar area. This prevents the chairs from sliding out and away from patrons. The question is, why didn’t the casino take steps to make sure the bar stool would not slip?

In your case, and from the facts you present, the casino will likely be liable for your injuries.

The next consideration is the type of injuries and resulting medical bills you incurred. Hitting your head is certainly serious, but if you did not require medical treatment, there would be no reason for the casino owner to compensate you. However, it would be fair for the casino to offer you some accommodation for your pain and suffering.

Finally, the State of California is a Comparative Negligence state. In personal injury claims, pure comparative fault (negligence) refers to a comparison of the fault of the victim and the landowner.

For example, if you were determined to have been intoxicated at the time you fell, that intoxication would be taken into consideration when determining fault and corresponding compensation. So, if it was determined you were intoxicated when you fell, the casino owner might be held 60% liable, with your comparative negligence being determined to be 40%. The percentage varies according to a percentage of fault.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: October 19, 2017

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