Premises Liability - Injuries on Property

Hazards and defects on commercial or residential property


Many accidents and injuries are caused by defective conditions or other negligence on residential and commercial property. Property-related accident cases can range from simple defects, such as a defective railing, stairway, step, or deck, to the most complex mechanical and design defects resulting in fires, explosions, and electrocutions. As one of the oldest and largest personal injury firms in Massachusetts, SUGARMAN's accident attorneys have a broad range of experience litigating property-related injuries.

Sometimes referred to as "premises liability" claims, property-related accident cases involve the legal liability of property owners, landlords, commercial tenants, and others who have control of the property for injuries that occur on it. In basic terms, Massachusetts law requires the person filing the lawsuit to establish that a property owner or property owner negligently caused or allowed a defective condition to exist on his or her property, resulting in injury. An injured person's attorney establishes negligence by showing that a dangerous condition existed on the property and should have been fixed before the accident occurred. Violation of the Massachusetts Building Code and Sanitary Code, as well as other codes and regulations, may also serve as evidence of negligence.

Like anything in the law, reaching a successful outcome in a premises liability case is not always simple, and certainly should not be viewed as simple by your personal injury attorney. The successful prosecution of a property-related accident case requires knowledge, resources, and experience in the multiple legal specialties and subspecialties involved in bringing such cases.

SUGARMAN injury attorneys meet all three criteria. Not all property-related accident cases are the most complex; however, SUGARMAN attorneys have handled some of the most complex and notable cases in recent Massachusetts history. These same attorneys are available to bring the firm's vast experience in this area of the law to your case.

Examples of the types of "premises liability" cases our injury attorneys handle are numerous, and include:

  • fires, explosions or electrocutions;
  • negligent security in hotels and bars resulting in violent crimes;
  • collapse of terrace or other structure
  • elevator and escalator injuries;
  • injuries at camps, gyms, spa centers and places of amusement;
  • swimming pool injuries;
  • snow and ice injuries;
  • dog bites and other animal-related injuries;
  • defects in stairs and walkways that cause falls;
  • slips, trips or falls in stores or supermarkets;
  • mold or other toxic injury; 
  • injuries to tenants from your guests in the rented space or common areas

Commercial and Residential Property

Massachusetts imposes a duty of reasonable care on both commercial and residential property owners. In essence, they must take steps to adequately address dangers and hazards on their property before they cause harm to a lawful visitor.

Real Cases

Bowers v. P. Wile's, Inc., 475 Mass. 34 (2016)

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial court affirmed the Appellate Court's decision to reverse the trial court's entry of summary judgment. SUGARMAN attorneys represented a woman who was caused to slip and fall on a stone that had been kicked loose from the defendant store's self-service display area, a hazard that the store was well aware of for several years. The Supreme Judicial Court agreed with SUGARMAN's attorneys that the "mode of operation" analysis applied to the facts of the case, vacated the judgment in favor of the defendant and remanded the case back to the Superior Court for further proceedings.

Defective apartment window screen

Settlement received from manufacturer, seller and landlord. Toddler fell out of a third-floor apartment window due to dangerous design, installation, and maintenance of the window screen, resulting in severe brain and orthopedic injuries to the child.

Trip and fall in supermarket parking lot

Settlement reached with owner of parking lot on behalf of an 85-year-old women who suffered a left femur fracture. The injury occurred when the woman tripped on an uneven surface in the parking lot.

Snow and Ice Cases

Snow and ice is a way of life in Massachusetts during the winter. Pedestrians, however, have a right to expect that a property takes measures to treat or remove snow and ice on property so that it is safe to walk on.

Real Cases

Town building inspector slips on ice during inspection

Settlement for a town building inspector who slipped on an icy unpaved driveway while performing an inspection of the defendant’s property, resulting in severe and permanent leg injuries that rendered him totally disabled from performing his job as a building inspector.

Slip on ice by grocery clerk

Settlement reached for a grocery clerk who slipped on ice in the employee parking lot as he was leaving work for the day, resulting in quadriplegic injuries.

Loading dock worker injured neck due to slip and fall on ice

Settlement for plaintiff against owner of loading dock for failure to properly remove ice from walking surfaces, causing fall and neck injury requiring cervical fusion surgery.

How SUGARMAN Can Help You.


We will listen carefully to you.


We will advise you regarding your potential case and the relevant law.


We will investigate for you and bring legal proceedings if appropriate.

SUGARMAN lawyers know that the damage done to lives by injury can be profound, yet often difficult to quantify or describe. And those effects last a lifetime. Our personal injury lawyers have the experience and resources to make a powerful case by developing the evidence and using expert consultation and testimony in order to prove your claim at trial. Just as important, we represent the injured and their families with special regard for the social, mental and emotional issues they face.

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