Woman slips at a Movie Theater and Breaks Her Arm

    breaks her armThis case involves a woman slipping and falling at a movie theater. The plaintiff was attending a film at a movie theater that had arena seating. The plaintiff got up to go to the bathroom and while walking down an unlit stairwell, slipped on a spilled liquid. She hydroplaned into a railing post in the center of the stairwell and broke her arm, which required emergency surgery. From the injury, she developed a permanent disability. The theater had recently been renovated. While the arena had lights installed outside the movie theater, they failed to put “runway” type lighting on their stairway entrances and exits. Also, the new paint that was used during the renovation did not contain non-slip strips.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Were the paint and lighting in the arena in violation of code specifications?

    Expert Witness Response E-001096

    I would suggest a visit to the site and measuring the coefficient of friction to determine the slip resistance of the floor surface. Also, some investigation as to which building codes apply will be important. Most building codes require a coefficient of friction of 0.50 and the ADA requires a coefficient of friction of 0.60. The year the building was built or modified would dictate which building codes would apply. I have over 50,000 hours of hands-on experience owning, operating, and working within a construction company, building inspection services, and other related companies in the field of construction safety. I have completed extensive coursework, attended seminars, and lecture seminars in safety areas of the construction arena. The specific inspections I conduct are in the areas of building codes, personal injury, construction disputes, construction accidents, OSHA, and slip and fall.

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