Premises Liability Incident in Ontario Mills Mall
As the largest shopping center in San Bernardino County, Ontario Mills entertains an average of 28 million visitors every year. Not long ago, the Ontario Mills shopping mall underwent a terrible incident that left several people injured.
According to an article published by ABC7 News, the shopping center had recently renovated its Ontario Mills Food Court area at the time of the incident when a 15-foot long object fell from the ceiling, striking multiple people. From the incident, a total of ten people reported having injuries, but only seven of those injured sought emergency medical treatment.
The shopping center’s general manager said in a statement that the company would be thoroughly investigating the matter. At the moment, it remains unclear if the accident was caused by the mall’s renovations.
Based on California’s premises liability laws, any person who leases, occupies, controls, or owns a property will be found negligent if he or she has failed to use a reasonable sense of care in maintaining the property in a relatively safe condition. Additionally, property owners have a responsibility to use a reasonable sense of care to discover unsafe conditions and replace, repair, or warn of those conditions before they can cause harm to others.
A property owner or property caretaker that has been found negligent in ensuring the property is reasonably safe can be found liable for any injuries people suffer while on the property. Any injured party can file a personal injury claim against the responsible party for damages, which is made possible through a personal injury claim.
In California, the following compensatory damages may be pursued in a case:
- Medical expenses,
- Physical therapy,
- At-home medical treatment,
- A loss of wages and benefits,
- A loss of earning capacity,
- Disfigurement, and
- Pain and suffering.
When a person has suffered injuries while in the property of another, the ability to recover financial compensation will require a strong premises liability case that demonstrates the injuries were caused as a consequence of the mismanaged property. A plaintiff will need to demonstrate the following:
- That the at-fault party leased, occupied, controlled, or owned the property at the time of the incident;
- That the at-fault party was careless in the maintenance of the premises;
- The plaintiff suffered injuries while on the named property; and
- The at-fault party’s careless actions was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s injuries.
In a premises liability case, the owner’s responsibilities will depend on the actions a reasonable party would act upon given a similar situation. To determine if a property owner breached the duty of care, the jury will need to consider, among many other factors, the following:
- If the property owner has a degree of control over the dangerous condition;
- If the property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition; and
- If the condition presented a likelihood of injury
Sadly, some accidents result in the untimely death of the victim. If the property owner’s negligence led to the passing of the victim, the victim’s surviving family members may have legal standing to file a claim against the property caretakers under California’s wrongful death statute. Wrongful death damages awarded to a family can include:
- Funeral costs,
- Burial expenses,
- Medical costs incurred before the victim’s passing,
- Loss of financial support,
- Loss of companionship, and
- Loss of consortium
In the case of Ontario Mills, it is not yet known whether the company will face liability for the injuries sustained by the victims. A jury will need to evaluate the case and determine if the property owner or other party knew about the dangerous condition or should have known about its existence. Whether or not the company has responsibility for the accident, the injured victims have a legal right to seek monetary compensation for their grievances.
If you or someone you love was injured while in another’s property, the ability to recover damages may be possible through a premises liability claim. Filing a claim must be made promptly, as the state has strict deadlines for when a petitioner can seek damages for his or her grievances. Consider contacting the legal support of a law firm that has experience in handling premises liability cases in California. An adept law firm will collect necessary evidence, obtain necessary reports, and dutifully defend your right to a full compensation.
The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Justin H. King are committed to the legal defense of premises liability accident victims. With many years of experience, the law firm seeks to righteously defend the accident victim’s right to a full compensation. After a premises liability accident, consider scheduling a consultation with the firm through the online contact form today.