I broke my right ankle at a resort in Mexico. I slipped and fell on wet stairs that were wet from the sprinklers. Do I have a case?

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I broke my right ankle at a resort in Mexico. I slipped and fell on wet stairs that were wet from the sprinklers. Do I have a case?

My right ankle required surgery and I am disabiled for twelve weeks. Since I purchased this trip through an American travel agency called TNT vacations, I’m hoping I can get something for the pain and suffering I’ve been going through. If the area that the incident had a railing and wasn’t wet from the sprinklers, this wouldn’t have happened.

Asked on May 5, 2009 under Personal Injury, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You MAY have a case against TNT vacations: it depends on the relationship between them and the Mexican resort. Generally speaking, if all TNT did was sell you the vacation package, acting as a "broker," agent, or middleman, you probably do *not* have  case against them--they had no control over what went on at the resort, and no liability for what the resort did or did not do.

The situation may be different if either they had a closer relationship with the resort; in some fashion exercised control over the resort and what was going on there; or had some reason to have knowledge that the resort was deficient in terms of safety. Basically, if they were more of a "tour operator," putting together and managing tours, where they would have responsibility for what went on, you may have a case against the; but if they were "just" a travel agent who acted as a middleman, then probably not.

Of course, you probably do (in a legal sense) have a cause of action against the resort itself, though that may not (in a practical sense) help you, since bringing an action against a business in another county is complicated and expensive.

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Under American law, I would say that you have a case well worth looking into.  There are a lot of factual details that can come into play in a slip and fall, so it is hard to be more definite than that.

What might be the more important question, at first, is whether you can file the lawsuit in Massachusetts.  This depends on a number of things, one of which is whether the resort itself advertises in your state.  Obviously, it would be a great advantage to you to sue in your home state, rather than having the case in Mexico.

An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to determine whether you have a case worth suing for, and if it can be done in Massachusetts.  If you need to find a lawyer, you can do that at http://attorneypages.com


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