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30 Second Rule: Water on Floor for 30 Seconds is Not Enough to Establish Notice

Premises Liability / March 14, 2018

In premises cases involving slip & falls on water, the length of time the water had been on the ground is a key factor in determining whether a claim survives dispositive motion. In Harris-Dimaria v Whitehall of Novi Healthcare, LLC, unpubl Court of Appeals opinion, the COA ruled that water on the ground for approximately 30 seconds is insufficient to establish constructive notice of an alleged hazardous condition. The appellate court was unimpressed with Plaintiff’s argument that the facility had actual notice of a leaky faucet. The entirety of Plaintiff’s actual notice argument was based on a conversation with a nurse’s aide stating that the sink was broken. Plaintiff could not establish with certainty that the individual she spoke with was a nurse’s aide acting as a representative of Defendant. Accordingly, her claims failed as a matter of law.

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