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Where Is The Restroom? (PA)


May 16, 2019 at 7:59:52 PM

<p style="text-align: justify;">In <a href=""><em>AnnMarie Watson. v. Boston Market Corporation</em></a>, the Eastern District Court of Pennsylvania analyzed the evidence needed to prove constructive notice in a public restroom.  By way of background, Plaintiff went to the Defendant Boston Market to order food and used the bathroom at the establishment.  Although Plaintiff did not notice any visible liquid on the ground, Plaintiff slipped on water while she was exiting the bathroom.  While on the floor, Plaintiff noticed water dripping on the floor from the ceiling light and also saw water stains on the ceiling.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The Court found there was no evidence that the Defendant created the harmful condition of water on the restroom floor or that there was actual notice.  Plaintiff argued that the Defendant had constructive notice of the water because the water remained on the floor for a significant period of time.  The restaurant manager testified that she inspected the restroom no more than forty-five minutes before the accident and did not see any water.  Further, the Court found no evidence that the water had been on the floor for a significant period of time such as footprints or tracking, or the accumulation of dirt and debris in the water.  Finally, the Court found that the stains on the ceiling did not necessarily indicate constructive notice of a water leak.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Given that the setting of the fall was a bathroom where water commonly falls on the floor, the Court needed evidence to show that the water was present on the floor for a significant amount of time.  The Court also found it important the frequent inspections were performed on the bathroom in which water was not observed on the ground.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Consequently, this case illustrates the types of evidence a court may look to, in order to determine if a party had constructive notice of a harmful condition.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Thank you to Malik Pickett for his contribution to this post.  Please email <a href="">Colleen E. Hayes</a> with any questions.</p>

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