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Knowledge of codes key to slip and fall claims


Recently, Guardian’s property experts were asked to consult on one of our national carrier client’s slip and-fall claims. The claim involved a woman who had reportedly tripped on a concrete wheel stop. Opposing counsel had posited that the handicap parking stalls and surrounding lighting were not compliant with the state’s codes.




Guardian’s experts reviewed all available claim/case paperwork and researched the structure’s codes. Accessibility requirements are borne of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, a state’s accessibility code for building construction and the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Guardian’s Property & Casualty Group’s analysis – delivered as a concise assessment report that cited the specific language of the applicable codes – spelled out precisely why none of these codes applied to the subject property’s parking lot.


Since the property was a multi-family condominium originally constructed in 1976, FHA does not apply. Because most of the ADA covers public facilities and pertains to housing (Title II) only insofar as it is provided by public institutions (e.g. college dormitories), it also does not apply to this claim. While the specific state codes also prescribe construction and design requirements, the usage and construction/permit history of the building meant that the state’s policies didn’t apply, either. This is because certain “triggers” were built into the code that stated, essentially, that compliance work need not be undertaken by owners for its own sake, but only upon renovations, changes in use and violations of prior law.




Carriers, TPA’s and attorneys who need reliable forensic construction and engineering support turn to the property claim experts at Guardian Group, Inc. For nearly 30 years, Guardian has delivered the service and expertise upon which complex construction claims depend. When your reputation is riding on the fast, fair resolution of property claims, call on the proven experts at Guardian Group, Inc.



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