If I fell at my rental due to the stairs being slippery, can I sue my landlord?

UPDATED: Dec 12, 2013

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If I fell at my rental due to the stairs being slippery, can I sue my landlord?

I live in a rented home. The landlord put in stairs that you would find in a school setting (the hard rubber ones). I slipped and fell on them 3 different times (it’s like walking on ice when you are wearing socks; they may be safe at a business or school because people there are always wearing shoes). The last time I fell I broke my tailbone and about a month after that developed an anal fistula that I now need surgery for because, over the past 6-7 months I have had it drained 4 times. The antibiotics I was given (for malaria prevention, caused me to get a lymph node infection). All of this stems from me falling. Is there a possible lawsuit here?

Asked on December 12, 2013 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If they are like "stairs you would find in a school setting," you are not likely to win: if stairs like these would be considered safe for hundreds of school children to walk on everyday, they are not likely to be considered intrinsically or unreasonably unsafe for use in a residence. Furthermore, socks are slippery, and people are advised to not walk on stairs in them; in walking in socks on stairs, you were engaging in at least somewhat risky behavior. That risk would reduce or possibly even eliminate any amounts you might otherwise win in a lawsuit. Therefore, from what you write, you would not appear to have a strong case.

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