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California Appeals Court Revives Los Angeles County Slip and Fall Lawsuit Against Whittier Cemetery Over Impalement Accident

December 31, 1969

This week, an appeals court revived a Los Angeles County slip and fall complaint against Rose Hills Company. Eileen Norwood is suing for injuries she sustained after she was impaled by a pipe while visiting Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary on Mother's Day 2005.

Norwood claims she was injured when, while walking away from a trash can that was sitting on a concrete pad, she slipped on a wet patch and fell on a pipe that was 17 7/8 inches tall. She punctured her liver and lung during the impalement accident. In her Los Angeles County premises liability lawsuit, Norwood accused Rose Hills of negligence.

The cemetery moved for summary judgment, arguing that the wet concrete where the California slip and fall accident happened was not dangerous and that on a clear, bright day a reasonable person would have noticed the wet spot and either exercised extra care when walking on it or chosen around to go around it. Norwood, in her opposing motion, contended that mud, algae, and water from a leaking faucet that is located on a sloping, concrete walking surface, next to an unprotected pipe, and near a trash can that pedestrians frequent is a dangerous condition that the premise owner failed to remedy.

The trial court's tentative ruling in 2008 granted the defendant's motion and then entered an order denying it. Rose Hill proceeded to submit a motion for clarification. The court then granted summary judgment in favor of the defense and the two parties entered into a stipulation judgment.

However, appellate court Judge Richard D. Aldrich says the trial court erred in its decision since clearly there was reasonable time for the property owner to determine the growing algae on mud next to a pipe that lacks protective covering is a dangerous condition that should be remedied.

Immediately after Norwood's slip and fall accident, her husband had taken photos of the accident site and her shoes, which had algae and mud on them.

Los Angeles Slip and Fall Accidents
Slipping on a slippery or wet surface or on an object on the ground can lead to painful, debilitating injuries. This is why a premise owner must make sure that there are no slip hazards on a property.

If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, you should take photos of any evidence, as well as the accident site, and consult with a Los Angeles injury lawyer about your case. Hip injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and other serious personal injuries can occur.

Court of Appeal Revives Suit by Woman Impaled by Pipe at Cemetery, Metropolitan News-Enterprise, March 31, 2010

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Related Web Resources:
Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary

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