Change In Massachusetts Slip And Fall Law

Many times people in Massachusetts slip and fall on water while entering a residence or business.  For years, Massachusetts has followed a rule of law that basically says a property owner is not responsible for slips and falls on water when the water has been tracked in by other people.  This has been known as the “transitory water” doctrine, and has barred thousands of people injured in these types of accidents from receiving compensation.  It appears this rule may be on the way out.

In a recent case, Holden v. Wal-Mart Stores East, LLP, the judge in that case, Judge Cornelius J. Moriarty signaled a possible end to this doctrine.  In that case a customer entered a Wal-Mart in Hanover on a rainy day.  The customer slipped and fell upon entering the store due to water tracked in by other customers.  Judge Moriarty pointed to the 2010 watershed case of Papadopoulos v. Target Corp. which abolished the previous “unnatural accumulation” rule for snow and ice cases.  In that case, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that Massachusetts would hold property owners liable, even if there was no “unnatural accumulation” of snow and ice, if the property owned failed to reasonably remove snow and ice from its premises.

In Holden, Judge Moriarty applied that new rule to “transitory water” cases and held, that, like in Papadopoulos, a property owners must reasonably remove water that is tracked in by other customers. If it does not, it can be held liable for personal injuries that result to customers.

This is a fair change which will allow many deserving injury victims their day in court,  by making property owners more accountable for keeping entrances to their stores reasonably free of water.

It is important to note that employees who slip and fall upon arriving to work cannot sue their employer for negligence.  What they can do is file a claim for workers compensation benefits.  These benefits will pay for medical bills and lost time from work, due to the injury.

Massachusetts Slip And Fall Legal Help

If you have slipped and fell and need legal help, contact the Law Office of Christopher Earley today for your free consultation. We would be happy to help you with your claim.