Skip to Content

Premises Liability

Walsworth’s premises liability team represents retailers, restaurants, landlords, homeowner’s associations, property management companies, public entities and individuals in a wide variety of claims. Because these claims often involve emotional factual settings and complex legal issues, Walsworth draws on its experience, while remaining attuned to developments in the law, to proactively counsel clients on risk prevention, assessment and management.

We represent clients in a wide range of traditional premises liability claims, including:

  • Premises defects
  • Construction and workplace accidents
  • Improper maintenance
  • Inadequate security
  • Malfunctioning escalators and elevators
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Scaffold and ladder accidents
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Tortious and sexual assault
  • Excessive force
  • Art preservation
  • Environmental clean-up
  • Property damage
  • Breach of warranty of habitability

We also represent clients in a broad spectrum of toxic tort claims, including:

  • Mold exposure
  • Asbestos exposure
  • Lead exposure
  • Radiation exposure
  • Chemical exposure

In addition, we represent clients in less traditional premises liability claims, including:

  • Explosions involving refinery equipment, cryogenic tanks, and other pressure vessels
  • Invasion of privacy of customers in restrooms
  • False imprisonment and slander from accusations of shoplifting and prostitution
  • Power plant electrocutions
  • Changing features of underwater environments
  • Crane accidents

Representative Successes

  • U Giles v. IPC – Defense verdict for mall security company involving a slip and fall on the premises by an elderly woman who sustained multiple fractures. Although the jury found the notice requirement to be met, the jury agreed with defendant’s contention that there was no causation.
  • Westrup v. Hardy & Harper – Defense verdict for a paving contractor in a slip and fall accident in a school parking lot which occurred shortly after the contractor had resurfaced the asphalt in the lot.
  • Plaintiff v. Franchisor – Successfully represented a franchisor for a full-service casual family restaurant chain where the plaintiff questionably claimed a slip and fall resulting in orthopedic injuries. The case was dismissed after video surveillance was sent to plaintiff’s attorneys.
  • Various Plaintiffs v. Commercial Real Estate Company – Successfully represented one of the world’s largest real estate investment manager as a property manager in handling various slip and fall claims.
  • McGrath v. ARMC – Non-suit was granted to a ready mix concrete company in this premises liability action where the plaintiff was the driver of a bottom dump truck making a delivery to a concrete plant. He parked his truck in line with several others in the center divider lanes of a street as they waited to turn left onto the plant premises. Plaintiff got out of his truck and was talking to other drivers near the first truck in line when the driver of that truck made his left turn into the plant, running over plaintiff’s foot and causing serious injuries. The granting of non-suit was upheld on appeal in an unpublished opinion.
  • Ng v. Various Defendants – Successfully secured a dismissal on behalf of a hotel in personal injury product liability action where plaintiff alleged exposure to bath products.
  • Various Plaintiffs v. Regional Grocery Store Chain – Oversee and manage numerous litigation matters for a regional grocery store chain, resulting in the favorable resolution of multiple slip and fall and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claims.
  • Cox City of San Diego – Successfully represented the City of San Diego in a case where the plaintiff fell down the stairs at the San Diego Museum of Art, a 100-year old building with no handrails and an optical illusion camouflaging the stairs. We settled for a fraction of the demand.
  • Green v. Property Owner – Represented the property owner of a large commercial and retail center in Los Angeles in a case where a disabled woman in a wheelchair fell and broke her neck on the premises. Compliance with building codes and a prior accident at the same location were at issue. Successfully secured a settlement for a fraction of the 7-figure demand.
  • Thomas v. Tovey Construction – Plaintiff verdict in a construction accident case where the plaintiff fell down an elevator shaft. The net verdict was $600,000 below the final pre-trial demand. In addition, the general contractor client obtained full contractual indemnification from the primarily negligent subcontractor co-defendant.
  • Plaintiff v. Local Hotel – Represented hotel client in a claim alleging negligence and premises liability after plaintiff slipped and fell in a pool of water from a guest room air conditioning unit.
  • Plaintiff v. National Retail Restaurant Chain – Obtained dismissal through dispositive motions for premises liability matter in which plaintiff alleged injuries from a slip and fall from a leaking bathroom sink.
  • Duarte and Pasmino v. Hyung Sung Investment Properties, LLC – Successfully defended a client in an alleged ADA violation case after a bench trial, wherein plaintiffs sought thousands of dollars for allegedly being unable to use the restaurant’s restroom fixtures.
  • Lopez v. Volk – Successfully resolved a difficult lead exposure case involving eight children claiming exposure to excessive amounts of lead in an apartment complex.
  • Espindola v. Homeowners – Successfully secured a dismissal after a demurrer was granted in a wrongful death premises liability case involving electrocution.
  • Smith v. Palace Hotel – Plaintiff allegedly fell on the sidewalk in front of the Palace Hotel and broke her arm. After receiving a six-figure demand, the case was resolved for 5% of the initial demand.