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Illinois retailer faces suit for plumbing-related accident

Just over a year ago, a seemingly average shopping trip at a Marshalls department store took an unexpected and painful turn for one Illinois man. While trying to exit a stall in the bathroom, the man slipped and fell as the result of an unmarked puddle of water. As a result of the injuries sustained in the accident, the man has filed a premises liability claim against the retail chain.

The basis of the man's suit is that the water on the bathroom floor accumulated because store management didn't properly maintain the plumbing, which was leaking. Not only did the store fail to make necessary repairs to leaky pipes, but they did not put up a sign warning patrons that the bathroom floor was slippery.

When property is open to the public, the owner has the responsibility of making sure it is safe. Overlooking safety issues or intentionally avoiding necessary repairs is a breach of the trust placed in the hands of property owners. Of course, maintenance staff may not have been able to attend to the leak immediately, but the least they could have done was provide a simple warning to customers.

Taking precautionary measures in this Marshalls location probably would have saved this man a lot of pain and money. After falling in the store's restroom, the man accumulated large medical bills and was physically unable to work, both of which created an undue financial burden. As a result, he is seeking over $50,000 in compensation.

In slip-and-fall accident cases, details are crucial. As such, it will be necessary for the Illinois man to show evidence that the store should have known about the faulty plumbing and handled the situation more effectively.

Source: The Madison-St.Clair Record, "Marshalls department store accused of failing to fix plumbing leak," Andrea Dearden, March 20, 2013

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