Prison Guard to Sue State for Slip and Fall Accident Injuries

When an employee is injured on the employer’s property, a claim for compensation is usually filed as a worker’s compensation case against the employer. But a recent decision involving a prison guard in California allows for a certain exception, allowing the employee to pursue a claim through a civil case under a slip and fall liability lawsuit.

When the Employee Works and Lives in the Employer’s Premises

The plaintiff is an employee of the San Quentin prison where he also rented and resided in one of the housing units maintained for prison guards. While walking to work one morning, the prison guard fell when a step collapsed underneath his feet, causing injuries.

The guard filed a workers compensation claim and received benefits from it. He then filed a slip and fall case against the State, claiming that the stairs’ defective construction and poor maintenance caused his fall and injuries.

In the trial court where the case was first heard, the judge ruled that the guard’s injury was a proper case for worker’s compensation and could not recover further damages through a premises liability lawsuit.

Not satisfied with the trial court’s decision, the plaintiff appealed his case and obtained a favorable ruling from the California appellate court. This court held that because the prison guard worked and lived on property owned by his employer, he might pursue a personal injury claim through a premises liability lawsuit.

This rule applies only if the residency was purely voluntary. If the guard’s employment contract or the needs of his job required him to live on-site, then the outcome may have been different, and his exclusive remedy would be limited to a workers compensation claim.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident on another person’s property, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Not all accidents can be pursued through a premises liability lawsuit. Your personal injury attorney must first be able to assess your situation and determine the appropriate case to file against the negligent parties.

Representing Los Angeles and San Diego Residents

Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley is one of the largest personal injury law firms in the Los Angeles and San Diego region. We have extensive experience in obtaining multi-million dollar outcomes for clients, helping them receive the maximum compensation for their injuries.

Our attorneys offer a free initial consultation to assess your situation. Call us today at (213) 514-8332 to speak to discuss your particular case.


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