Slips and Falls in New Jersey Shopping Malls
Who Has the Duty to Maintain the Premises? The Mall Owner? The Shopkeeper?
If you’re like most Americans, you visit a shopping mall at least once a week—a national survey found that nearly nine of every ten adults go to a mall that often. You may not think about the potential dangers in a mall, but they are there. In fact, slips and falls are the most common type of mishaps in shopping malls.
The Causes of Shopping Mall Slips and Falls
There are a number of hazardous conditions in shopping malls that can lead to injury:
- Spilled food or beverages
- Recently mopped floors that are unmarked
- Loose or broken tile, carpet, linoleum, or other flooring
- Goods or merchandise that has fallen off the shelves
- Water or soap on bathroom floors
- Negligently maintained sidewalks, parking lots, parking ramps, or other walkways
In New Jersey, there’s a duty to maintain commercial premises so as to minimize the risk of injury to persons legally on the property. But who has that duty at a mall? Is it the company or person who owns the mall and leases space to the stores? Or is it the individual shopkeeper?
As a general rule, the entity or individual who owns the mall has the responsibility to maintain common areas, including hallways, bathrooms, and all open space between stores. A store owner generally has liability only for slips and falls inside their establishment. However, if a store owner puts a display out front, or engages in behavior that poses a risk outside the store, that owner may have liability.
Contact Gregg A. Wisotsky, Partner at Javerbaum Wurgaft Hicks Kahn Wikstrom & Sinins, PC
I offer a free phone consultation to every prospective client. For a complimentary evaluation of your case, contact my office online or call me at 973-241-7468. I will come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary. All major credit cards are accepted.