Q: Must the landlord have notice of the hazardous condition that caused me to slip and fall, or is there an assumption that they should have known?
When it comes to a landlord’s liability for your slip and fall injuries, notice is always a big part of the analysis. For example, if oil is spilled on the floor a few seconds before you slip and fall, no one who owns or maintains the premises would have had an opportunity to take care of that condition quickly enough to prevent your slip and fall accident.
Whether there was sufficient notice is hotly debated and litigated as part of any slip, trip, and fall case. The law provides that the person responsible for the maintenance of the property has to have adequate notice, or enough time to be able to react and remediate whatever the defect may be on the property.
Often, it becomes a battle of the experts. It is part of what we try to get out of factual discovery through depositions and document production, and through handbooks and maintenance provisions, policies, and how the landlord or management company go about maintaining certain properties.