Restaurants Have a Duty Maintain Their Floors
Restaurants have a duty to maintain their premises for patrons that come into their establishment. When this duty is breached, people can be seriously hurt.
In the case of Rodriques v. Sugarfire Smoke House, Rodriques went out to eat in May of 2018 to the Sugarfire Smoke House in Indianapolis and after ordering his lunch, proceeded upstairs to set down his tray of food. He then turned around and headed back downstairs to get a drink. As Rodriques was holding a cup in one hand and his phone in the other, he suddenly slipped and fell down the stairs. The stairs had moisture and grease on them and as a result, Rodriques suffered a complete quadricep rupture in his leg and needed to have his leg surgically repaired.
Rodriques sued Sugarfire, alleging negligence by the restaurant for not maintaining the staircase. The court case was moved to federal court and went to trial. Rodriques claimed that the staircase had grease and moisture from restaurant employees and an expert testified that the restaurant had substandard floor maintenance on the staircase.
Sugarfire denied any negligence and said that Rodriques fell down the stairs while he was distracted. The jury returned a mixed verdict of fault, assessing evenly between the parties. The plaintiff’s damages were $350,000 and the court’s final judgement, less comparative fault, was for $175,000.
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