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Las Vegas and Nevada is home to thousands of slip and fall cases. Escalators, elevators, stairs, hallways, ice machines, buffets, marble floors, stamped concrete floors, sealed concrete, and tile floors make up the majority of causes for slip and fall injuries at our hotels. Many, however, also must deal with falls caused by the hotel or employees of the hotels. These hazards are not consistent with the legal duty to protect the customer.
The presence of a foreign substance on a floor generally is not compatible with the standard of ordinary care. If one slips and falls because of it, liability may be found if the condition was created by the proprietor or his agent or, if created by another, the proprietor had actual or constructive notice of its existence. Asmussen V. New Golden Hotel Co., 392 P2d 49 ( 1964).
The Nevada Court reasoned in Asmussen that a presumption of liability will lie with the hotel when they in fact create the hazard. At Benson and Bingham we find many clients who fall as the result of employee misconduct. That conduct involves spilling gravy, coffee, and other food items without cleaning it. Overspray from fountains or water features causes dangerous conditions on smooth floors. Grease and other kitchen items leach on to food service shoes and end up in the dining room.
Our firm has represented persons who have fallen because of power washing steel stairs, employees who have neglected to remove exposed rebar in a parking garage, failed to warn customers they were using a soapy mop, and egregiously failed to clean up spilled drinks on slick marble floors. Water features including water fountains, water falls, and water mister systems often overlook the problem of water accumulation in unintended areas.
Nevada law supports victims of these types of injuries. Read about the Asmussen case: “On January 13, 1962 Mrs. Asmussen, an invited guest of the hotel, stepped from the elevator onto the hotel lobby floor. Her right foot slipped from under her. She fell to the floor and was injured. While on the floor she saw that the linoleum "was very heavily waxed, the wax lying on top rather than being buffed in." No wax rubbed off on her clothes. About a yard away was a mark approximately a foot and a half long and an inch and a half wide, where the wax had been disturbed. She does not claim to have caused that mark. She did not notice the heavily waxed floor before she fell. Such is the story of the occurrence as related by her. No other evidence was offered on the issue of liability.”
This case explains the dangers of waxing a floor for others to slip on. This is also the case that many smart personal injury attorneys use in trial to get an advantage during the final parts of the trial-the jury instruction phase. Jury instructions are read to the jury by the judge to instruct them on the law pertaining to the slip or trip and fall case they are deliberating on. The Asmussen case is law that they must follow. If the hotel creates the hazard there is a presumption of liability. This is a very strong instruction. Savvy lawyers will make sure this instruction is presented to the jury as it can make a world of difference to the outcome of a case. Call Benson & Bingham if you would like a free, no obligation regarding your personal injury slip and fall case with a Nevada Slip and Fall Attorney.