Evaluating Building Code Compliance in a Restaurant Injury Case

This case study explores a restaurant injury lawsuit where the plaintiff alleges negligence due to non-compliance with building codes. An expert in building codes provides insights into the relevant regulations and their application, highlighting the importance of adherence to these codes for customer safety.

ByExpert Institute


Published on February 6, 2024

Steps leading into a restaurant

Case Overview

This case study examines an incident where a pedestrian tripped over a six-inch step at a restaurant entrance. According to the plaintiff, this accident was caused by the restaurant's failure to comply with local and international building codes. This case aims to determine whether the restaurant was negligent in not adhering to relevant building codes.

Questions to the expert and their responses


Can you describe your experience with international building codes, particularly for restaurants or similar businesses?

With over 48 years' experience in the construction and code industry, I have held various roles such as estimator, project manager, and safety director for medium-sized construction companies. Recently, my focus has shifted towards plan reviews, inspections, and teaching about codes. I've served as a building official in jurisdictions of different sizes. Holding 47 International Code Council certifications, I am recognized as one of the top code officials in the United States.


What relevant codes exist concerning thresholds, steps, and doorways entering a business to prevent incidents like this from occurring?

Depending on the case location, several codes could be applicable. These include the International Building Code, NFPA 101 - Life Safety Code, ADA-Accessibility, and OSHA. Each of these codes contains specific guidelines regarding thresholds, steps, and doorways designed to prevent such accidents.

About the expert

This expert has over four decades of experience in the construction industry, spanning residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. They hold a BS in Construction Management, and numerous certifications, including Certified Building Official and Master Code Enforcement Professional. Currently operating a construction and premises safety consultancy, this expert has previously served as a chief building official for multiple cities and has extensive teaching experience on subjects like International Fire Code, Plumbing Code, Code Applications, and Construction Management.

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