Slip and Fall Expert Witness Opines on Condition of Stairs

    slip and fall expert witness opines on condition of stairsThis case involves a slip and fall accident at an airport. The plaintiff exited his cab and was in a hurry to make his flight. On the day in question, it had been raining heavily, and there was a large puddle which had accumulated on the top step leading into the airport terminal. Also, because of the steps usage, the non-slip strip which had been added had been worn down to such an extent that there were large holes in it. As the plaintiff traversed the stairs, he came to the final step and slipped, hitting his head on the handrail. He sustained a concussion and laceration from the impact and broke his clavicle because of the subsequent fall. Plaintiff retained an expert of airport management/commercial flight operations for the case.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. When maintaining stairs with heavy foot traffic, is it common to have a non-slip strip placed on the top step?

    Expert Witness Response E-001721

    In most area with heavy foot traffic and stairs, it is critical to ensure that they are properly maintained. For external stairs, maintaining the non-slip strip at the top step is critical. Its placement is important, but it should also be inspected, regularly, and when it begins to lose its tread, the owner should have it replaced. The amount of time between installation and replacement varies by the type of non-slip strips used, but I am not aware of any strip that can maintain its friction after four years of external conditions and heavy foot traffic. I have examined numerous slip and fall cases, especially involving stairs and other circumstances where non-slip materials may be utilized.

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