Premises Liability FAQ’s

Q: What is Premises Liability?

A: Premises liability in Wisconsin refers to the liability or fault of a landlord, landowner, manager of residential or commercial premises as a result of failing to exercise the duty of care as established by Wisconsin Common Law and the Wisconsin Safe Place law, Wis. Stat. §§ 101.01 and 101.11.

The Safe Place Law establishes a standard of care for landlords and managers of commercial premises to make the place as safe as the nature of the premises reasonably permits.

Q: What Is The Duty of Care In Wisconsin?

A: In Wisconsin, everyone has a duty to everyone else to act reasonably, timely, responsibly with reasonable care and due diligence. That duty requires that you act within reason to ensure that the premises, both inside and outside are safe as their nature permits.

Q: What are the types of accidents arising under Premises Liability?

A: Those accidents include the following:

(1) Slip and Fall accidents may occur on steps of residential and or commercial premises, wet floors in grocery stores, defective and dangerous sidewalks, defective floors, torn carpeting, uneven floor surfaces and objects like banana peels.

(2) Trip and Falls may occur on floors or steps which contain protruding surfaces.

(3) Lead Poisoning – most lead poisoning and exposures occurs in homes built before 1978. The exposure to lead may result from peeling and or chipping paint particles and or lead dust through wear and tear of surfaces or renovation that is not carefully done. Most young children under the age of 7 exhibit hand to mouth activity often picking up stuff from carpeting or surfaces containing lead particles, chips and or dust. If you suspect the presence of lead paint particles, please call the City to inspect the premises. Also, please have your child’s blood tested for lead poisoning.

(4) Swimming Pool Falls and Drowning – Accidental drowning in Wisconsin swimming pools usually involves young children who escape the watchful vigilance of their parents or those entrusted to care for the child. In many cases however, it involves adults. According to the Centers For Disease Control, 80% of people who die from drowning are male, the fatal unintentional drowning rate for African Americans was significantly higher than that of whites across all ages between 1999 -2000 and the disparity is widest among children 5-18 years old and, is most pronounced in swimming pools. Lack of swimming ability, lack of pool fencing, lack of close supervision, alcohol use and failure to wear lifejackets are some of the more prominent causes of drowning in America.

Wisconsin State Law (Chapter DHS 172 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code) requires all public pools which includes hotels, motels, schools, clubs, parks) to post for the benefit of the general public, clearly visible signage with the following content: “Warning: No Lifeguard on Duty” (in 4 inch letters, where applicable) and a pool rules sign (posted conspicuously in the pool area) that displays the following regulations in 1 inch lettering:

  • Do not enter the pool if you have a communicable disease or an open cut.
  • Do not bring food, drink, gum or tobacco into the pool.
  • Shower before entering the pool and after use of toilet facilities.
  • Do not run or engage in rough play in the pool area.
  • Do not bring animals into the pool area.
  • Diaper changing on the pool deck is prohibited.
  • Glass and shatterable items are prohibited in the pool area.
  • Non−toilet−trained children must wear swim diapers.

“NO DIVING” signs (posted in 4 inch letters at pools that are 200 feet or larger and are not approved for diving).
A sign that states the Maximum Patron Load (displayed conspicuously in each pool area).
A sign that states that the pool and any other water attractions are closed (to be posted during times when the pool is closed).
Pools with Water Slides must post the pool rules outlined above as well as the following additional rules at the entrance to the slide tower:

  • Do not use the slide while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Follow the instructions of the attendant.
  • No standing, kneeling, rotating or stopping in the flume.
  • Keep your hands inside the flume.
  • Leave the plunge area immediately.
  • WARNING: Water depth is ____ feet.

The Accident & Personal Injury Firm of Emmanuel L. Muwonge & Associates, LLC., has successfully handled several drowning cases including a double drowning at an unattended Motel Swimming Pool with numerous code violations, where two male siblings, a 19 year old and 15 year old, drowned. The simple mechanics of the drowning was such that one sibling tried to unsuccessfully rescue his sibling, tragically resulting in both of the teenagers to drown. There usually is a 20 to 60 second rescue window beyond which, death is certain to occur.

Wisconsin Law governing swimming pools requires that owners of commercial pools ensure the presence of Lifeguards on duty at the pool at all times. Wisconsin law also requires the certification and training of all lifeguards. Further, employers must make sure Lifeguards are not distracted and pay attention to pool users.

(4) Collapse of Building or Portion of Structure – A landlord and or management agency in charge of a dwelling or commercial structure is required to ensure that the structure is structurally sound and without any defects that may cause injuries to occupants and those that frequent the building. Falling ceilings, collapsing floors and walls are some of the causes of injuries occurring as a result of the negligence and failure to maintain and inspect premises by the landlord and or their designated managers.

(5) Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer because it is an odorless, colorless gas which is caused by incomplete burning of fuels, natural gas, coal, gas fueled furnaces, gas stoves or wood. Wisconsin law requires smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. If your detector sounds or you or someone in your family experiences symptoms such as dizziness and suspect poisoning, please call the Fire Department and leave the building for fresh air.

(6) Faulty Wiring and Electrocution – Faulty wiring can and often will cause electrocution following exposure to voltages far beyond the body can safely tolerate and as a result of which you may suffer electrical shock, often leading to death.

The causes of electrocution include such things as defective appliances, electrical outlets, defective and malfunctioning handheld electrical appliances such as shaving machines, hair dryers, Jacuzzis and many other electrical appliances that may be defective or connected to power sources connected to negligently installed wiring systems.

Symptoms of electrocution and how you react to electrocution varies from person to person, place to place and appliance to appliance. Chiefly, they may include nerve damage, hearing and vision loss, headaches, cardiac arrest and death. When involved in an accident, Dial 911 and make sure that any witnesses don’t leave until officers and paramedics arrive at the scene. If you are in a hotel, make sure that an accident report is filled out and get a copy of it as well.

When injured, call the Accident & Personal Injury Law Firm of Emmanuel L. Muwonge & Associates, LLC., for your Free and No Obligation Consultation. Quite importantly, make sure that the offending appliance is secured and maintain custody of it until you bring it to our office where experts we work with will examine it and provide us with an expert opinion regarding the precise cause(s) of your accident and injuries.

(7) Asbestos Poisoning – Almost all exposure to asbestos in Wisconsin arises at work places and therefore work-related. Asbestos is known to cause Mesothelioma a deadly disease that affects the linings of the lungs, around your heart and or abdomen. When inflammation and scarring occur inside your body, you may develop cancer.

The following categories of people are at risk of developing Mesothelioma:
A. Industrial Workers exposed to asbestos in places or sites where asbestos was, has been or is still present
B. Chemical Plant Workers
C. Foundry Workers
D. Car or Auto Mechanics
E. Paper Mill Workers
F. Boiler Workers
G. Pipe Fitters
H. Railroad Workers
I. Welders and Workers in the construction industry

The state of Wisconsin has no natural deposits except along its border with Michigan’s upper peninsula. Read more about the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Asbestos Program.

[x_blockquote cite=”” type=”left”] If you or  a loved one has been injured in Wisconsin, Call The Milwaukee, Wisconsin Accident & Personal Injury Law Firm of Emmanuel L. Muwonge & Associates, LLC., at  (414) 933-4144.[/x_blockquote]

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