The legal concept of premises liability obliges West Virginia businesses to maintain safe properties. They have a legal duty of care to monitor their properties for hazards, warn people about dangers and fix problems like broken handrails, bunched up carpet or rugs, wet floors, and icy sidewalks. This responsibility arises because companies generally actively encourage people to enter their properties.
Some West Virginia residents who have struggled with stairs when no elevator was available might have heard about a woman who died while trying to carry her baby's stroller down a flight of stairs in a New York City subway station. There was no elevator in the station, and this is the case for approximately three-fourths of the 472 subway stations throughout the city.
Animal lovers in West Virginia may have heard that an orangutan at an Ohio zoo injured a volunteer in late January when it reached through the barrier and bit the victim's hand. Officials from the zoo in Toledo say that the victim's thumb detached during the incident. The injury occurred in a location that is not accessible to zoo visitors, and officials have said there was no threat to the public.
Property owners in West Virginia may occasionally wonder how far they must go to prevent accidents. Near the close of the year 2018, a case was brought against Universal Orlando Resort that illustrates how premises liability law can have its gray areas. The plaintiff's contention is that the theme park should have had warning signs posted in Spanish.
Just like stairs and elevators, escalators can cause accidents. The National Elevator Industry, Inc. has released tips for people riding escalators in West Virginia and across the country to help promote passenger safety. Where an escalator defect or other issue leads to an injury, the injured party might have claims for damages against the property owner.
Among the many concerns of a small business owner in West Virginia is maintaining a safe property and avoiding liability issues. Legal claims are time consuming, expensive and potentially devastating to any company. If the business operates out of a physical location, anyone is a candidate to file a lawsuit if they fall while on the property.
When college students in West Virginia gather to relax and unwind, small gatherings sometimes turn into larger parties. Situations like this can quickly become potentially dangerous if an abundance of people are crammed into a limited space not designed for such purposes. This is exactly what happened when the floor of a clubhouse located near a university in South Carolina collapsed. During a large, private party, the structure's floor gave way and sent dozens of individuals into the basement below.
Falls are the top cause of injury-related insurance claims for supermarkets in West Virginia and across the U.S. As a result, many local and national chains are turning to technology to ensure customers remain safe and upright while visiting their stores.
People in West Virginia may be confused about the obligation that homeowners have to people who they invite onto their property to perform various kinds of work. Homeowners frequently hire others to babysit children, mow the lawn, provide cleaning services or repair broken items around the house. When people enter a home to do work, they always face the risk of injury. This is especially true if a negligent property owner fails to provide a safe space for people to work and a babysitter, contractor or house cleaner is injured as a result.
Approximately 7.4 million swimming pools are in residential or public use in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The same organization also estimates that there are more than 3,500 non-boating drowning accidents each year, many of them occurring in pools. Besides drowning, pools increase the risk for slips, trips and falls as well as exposure to harmful chemicals.