The Mode of Operation Rule and Snowy Weather
Wait, isn’t winter over? It felt like it was over.
It looks like Mother Nature has decided to give us one last snowfall before spring officially arrives. And with North Jersey experiencing snow and rainfall today, it’s the perfect combination of events for slip and fall accidents.
We’ve spent a lot of time discussing what you need to do after a slip and fall in Jersey City and how to prevent an accident from occurring. And when we discuss hazardous conditions that cause an accident, one of the things we stress is the property owner needs to know about the conditions prior to the accident. The owner or employees not only need to know about the hazard but have ample time to clean it up prior to the accident. This can get difficult after a big snowstorm. But it does bring up an interesting point — what is the time limit? And what if the owner knows yet fails to do anything within a reasonable time?
We’ve talked about the mode of operation rule previously but today feels like a good day to revisit the topic. To sum up, the mode of operation rule in a premises liability case means that owner had created the hazard and had failed to fix it before the accident occurred. So how does this relate to the weather? Let’s explain with an example.
The store’s roof tends to leak during particularly rainy weather. Although the store is currently fixing the roof, the store owners decide to remain open. Since it is plain to see there is construction going on, the store owners decide that signs are not necessary. Tina has come to the store for her weekly grocery shopping trip. As she begins shopping, it begins to rain outside. Water begins dripping from the ceiling, causing puddles to form on the slippery linoleum. Tina doesn’t notice the puddle and slips. She falls hard, breaks her leg and cracks a few ribs.
It’s an extreme example of the mode of operation rule but illustrates the point. It is the responsibility of the property owner to keep danger at bay and failing to do so makes the owner liable for your injuries. If you have a slip and fall accident in New Jersey, we can help. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.