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Trip on a Box: Negligence or Not?

by | Feb 23, 2022 | Firm News |

After the holiday season when we have eaten too much, maybe even drank too much and enjoyed that warm fuzzy feeling we might miss a stack boxes standing on a wooden pallet.  Anything is possible after champagne and eggnog.  But can we sue for tripping over  the stack of boxes on the wooden pallet.

In Pizzola v. Thyssenkrup El. Corp., the Plaintiff tripped over a wooden pallet with boxes containing  elevator parts.  The Plaintiff brought a lawsuit alleging negligence.  The Defendant moved for summary judgment (dismissal of the case) claiming the boxes were “Open and Obvious.”  The doctrine of open and obvious is a defense in a lawsuit.  The defendant must demonstrate that through use of reasonable senses, the injured party should have seen the defect.

In this case, the Plaintiff claimed that the position of the pallet and boxes, made it difficult to see the edge of the pallet which actually caused the accident.  Therefore, the judge denied the motion for summary judgment and allowed the case to proceed to trial.

What is the lesson or insight from this case?  Facts matter. Understanding all the circumstances and conditions surrounding the accident.   Knowing the law and putting your facts in the best possible light in view of the law.

Feel free to call David Ascher to discuss any situation where an injury occurred.(212)964-1515


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