The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

Slip and Fall Lawsuit on the Capitol Floor?

The floor of the Capitol building in Harrisburg is so infamous that women bond over the treacherous navigation of the terra-cotta floor tiles.

Polished Moravian tiles blanket 16,000 square feet of the great rotunda of the 106-year-old Capitol building with each slippery tile roughly the size of a baseball card, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. Not only are the tiles slippery, but they're uneven too -- some protruding and others dipping.

For years, the Capitol flooring has been known to cause foot injuries and broken shoes, reports the Inquirer. But when someone gets injured on the Capitol floor, can the state be to blame?

Unfortunately, there is no precise way to determine when someone is legally responsible for injuries during a slip and fall. Each case turns on whether the property owner acted carefully so that slipping or tripping was not likely to happen, and whether the injured person was careless in not seeing or avoiding the condition.

For example, "slippery" or "danger" signs at the Capitol may be sufficient to prevent injuries. And if the floors are so infamous, people may need no additional warning at all as the risk is obvious and anticipated every time someone steps on the floor.

On the other hand, it could be argued that the state was well aware of the dangers of the Capitol building and should have taken reasonable steps to remove the hazard.

Slipping on the Capitol building floor may be a bonding experience for women lobbyists. However, the dangerous condition could also lead to a slip and fall lawsuit if the state ignores the problem and fails to warn pedestrians of the danger.

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