When it comes to keeping premises safe, Rhode Island imposes a duty on landowners to use reasonable diligence in repairing and maintaining the property and to provide necessary warnings for conditions that cannot be repaired. The dedicated Rhode Island premises liability lawyers at Bilodeau Capalbo have handled a wide variety of these cases. We have the experience it takes to help you assert your right to compensation after a careless landowner causes you to suffer injuries.
A recent Rhode Island appellate opinion discusses the liability of a landowner for injuries that the plaintiff sustained as a result of an allegedly faulty staircase. The plaintiff resided at a property that the defendant owned, where the defendant also resided. On the evening of the accident, the plaintiff was talking on her cell phone as she climbed a wooden staircase that led to the front porch area of the modular home in which she lived. She testified that as she reached the top of the stairs, she felt herself falling through the stairs, and her feet eventually hit the ground. She alleged in her complaint that she experienced numerous injuries as a result of the fall. The plaintiff’s complaint asserted a cause of action for negligence against the defendant, stating that he had breached his duty to maintain the property in a reasonable and safe manner.
The plaintiff also testified that she did not notice anything unusual about the stairs and that she had used the same stairway to exit her home earlier that evening. The plaintiff secured a new attorney, who amended her original complaint to include a claim for res ipsa loquitur, which is a legal theory providing that the occurrence of a particular accident implies the existence of negligence. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, stating that the defective condition had not existed on the property for a long enough period of time for the defendant to have reasonable notice or actual notice of its existence.