The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

Concrete Ceiling Falls on Woman: Premises Liability 101

You’re outside, enjoying your day when you’re hit with a chunk of concrete. You’ve just been injured by no fault of your own, so someone must be to blame.

This is probably what was going through the mind of a woman in King of Prussia just after she was hit with falling concrete from the ceiling of a pedestrian overpass while eating lunch at the Piazza DiGiorgio cafe, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The woman was lucky in some sense, because the 12-foot by 15-foot piece of concrete fell beside the woman with only the debris striking her in the head.

The woman likely has a premises liability claim against the King of Prussia Mall for any harm caused to her by the falling concrete.

The Piazza DiGiorgio cafe is located at the King of Prussia Mall. This means that it the overpass is probably owned or maintained by the Mall. A retailer or other commercial entity that has a place of business is said to invite the public to their premises.

When you invite the public to your premises, you have a duty to make sure that the location is safe for the public. This requires building owners to prevent and warn about any known dangers in the area. It also means that building owners can be liable to visitors that are injured by a design or building flaw.

Here, the woman was just sitting at a table enjoying some food when the concrete fell. It is likely that the concrete fell because of the use of faulty building materials or poor design of the building.

There are few reasons that the property owner could get out from this liability because the damage happened to a part of the building that was controlled solely by the building owner. It would be hard to say that the retailer inside of the Mall caused the outside of the Mall to deteriorate at a higher rate than normal.

To all you mall owners, be sure your concrete is up to code, because when the next chunk of concrete falls on a woman, it might cost more than just some bruises on the woman's head.

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