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City of Charleston settles slip-and-fall case

A slip-and-fall accident can happen just about anywhere. But when a person suffers injuries from this kind of accident on someone else's property, the property owner may be held legally responsible for the resulting damages.

Litigation arising from a slip-and-fall incident that happened in Charleston recently ended in a settlement. The accident happened back in 2013 when Willie Akers, a former college basketball player for West Virginia University fell while attending a basketball game at the Charleston Civic Center.

Akers, who was 75-years-old at the time of the accident, tripped on an unmarked step at the edge of the portable basketball court that was erected at the Civic Center. He suffered serious injuries, including a broken neck and nose, and a punctured a rib. Akers had to undergo extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, and incurred substantial expenses as a result.

Through a lawsuit, Akers sought compensation from various parties, including the City of Charleston. In the recent settlement, the City agreed to pay Akers $475,000. Although the settlement releases the City from the lawsuit, Akers still has claims against the manufacturer of the portable basketball floor.

Under West Virginia law, property owners must take reasonable precautions to keep certain people on their property safe. Like this case involving Akers, something as simple as an unmarked step can cause an accident that turns a victim's life upside down. Wet flooring and inadequate lighting are also common problems that can lead to injuries from slip-and-fall accidents.

When a person in the Charleston area suffers an injury on someone else's property, they should research their legal options for recovering damages related to the accident. Oftentimes, an experienced attorney can be of assistance.

Source: Charleston Gazette-Mail, "Charleston settles with basketball legend Akers after 2013 fall," Elaina Sauber, Aug. 15, 2016

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