Case Caption: Cenobia Perez, et al. v. The Ritz-Carlton (Virgin Islands), Inc., et al.Case Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2011-0050Date: 08/14/2013Author: Cabret, Maria M. Citation: Summary:

In a slip-and-fall case, the Superior Court erred in granting summary on the plaintiffs' negligence claims on the grounds that evidence was not submitted to show that either defendant had notice of debris or moss on the stairway where the victim fell was absent, or that the stairs themselves were defective or unreasonably dangerous. A possessor of land is subject to liability for physical harm to business invitees from a condition on the land only if it knows or exercising reasonable care would discover the condition, and should realize it involves an unreasonable risk of harm to invitees who will not discover or realize the danger, or will fail to protect themselves against it, but fails to exercise reasonable care to protect invitees against the danger. In this case, based on depositions of defendants' employees submitted in opposition to the motion for summary judgment the plaintiffs identified sufficient evidence to show that the defendants knew that it was raining on the day of the fall, knew that whenever it rained leaves and debris would accumulate on the pathway and stairs of the hotel complex where the accident took place, and knew that this created a dangerous condition. Therefore, there is a genuine issue of material fact regarding the defendants' constructive notice of the condition that caused the injuries involved in this lawsuit through evidence that they had actual knowledge of a recurring dangerous condition on the property. The Superior Court's June 1, 2011 Order granting summary judgment to the defendants on the plaintiffs' negligence claims is reversed, and the case is and remand for further proceedings.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion