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Government can be found liable in slip-and-falls

As many Maryland residents know, sustaining an injury due to a circumstance out of one's control is often frustrating and feels unfair. When the injury happens in a public place, such as on a road or sidewalk, in a park or a government building, there are laws limiting the responsibility of the government until in charge of the area.

As FindLaw explains, bringing a claim of premises liability against a government entity is different than a case against a grocery store or amusement park because of "sovereign immunity," or the inability for the government to be found liable in a lawsuit. However, laws have been passed to limit this immunity, so people are able to sue when they are hurt or their property is damaged. There are often additional steps required when suing the government, and many states require people to file a claim with the governmental agency within a certain period of time after the incident occurred. If the claim is denied, then a lawsuit can be filed. Many states also put a limit on the amount of damages one can receive in a case.

As Myrtle Beach Online reports, just such a cap existed for a woman who slipped on a hazardous rug in a city recreation center. After warning the facility about the rug to no effect, the woman fell and sustained injuries. While the city was held liable, and the jury awarded $547,128 in damages, the judge lowered this amount to $300,000 because of the cap imposed by the South Carolina Tort Claims Act.  

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