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Harvard Professor Suing TD Garden for Slip and Fall at Celtics Game

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Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus, Alan Dershowitz, is suing Boston’s TD Garden arena after a violent slip and fall in an arena bathroom during a Boston Celtics basketball game.  Mr. Dershowitz is known as a zealous civil liberties advocate, legal commentator and writer. Many of his writings address tensions between Israelis and Palestinians. Mr. Dershowitz has been honored by the Anti-Defamation League for civil rights advocacy. He is also an avid sports fan, having represented OJ Simpson and Mike Tyson in the past.  He even has a sandwich named after him at a restaurant near Fenway Park. Unfortunately, his attendance at one Celtics game in 2012 resulted in serious, life-altering injuries.

The Lawsuit

Mr. Dershowitz recently filed a Complaint in Suffolk Superior Court against TD Garden. The Complaint states that nearly three years ago, he violently slipped, causing him to fall upward and then hard upon the tile floor severely twisting his right knee and leg, landing on his back.”. His Complaint blames his fall on a depleted supply of paper towels near the sinks. “This dangerous condition allowed water from the recently washed hands of each of the myriad bathroom users to drip or be ‘shaken’ onto the floor, negligently creating a hazardous situation for all users, “ according to his Complaint.

Following Mr. Dershowitz’s fall, he watched the rest of the game in severe pain before he was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital by ambulance. The Complaint states he remains in physical therapy after being diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral ligament which hampers his mobility and keeps him awake at night. The Complaint also indicates that he may need surgery in the future. He no longer requires a knee brace or a crutch to get around, as he did for “many months” following the spill.

Dershowitz told The Boston Globe that he didn’t initially want to file a lawsuit, but he’d been unable to reach a settlement agreement with the arena and the statute of limitations on his claim was about to expire. Every state has limits on how long you have to sue after an accident occurs. Dershowitz’s attorney is one of his former students.  The Boston Globe commented, “A slip-and-fall lawsuit may seem small, compared with Dershowitz’s other causes, but he says the effects of his bathroom wipe out linger to this day.”

Mr. Dershowitz replied, “This is small — for everybody but me,” Dershowitz said. “When you hurt your knee, you feel it every day.”

Slip and Falls

Most slip-and-fall cases fall under the legal doctrine of premises liability, which holds that property owners must take reasonable steps to assure the safety of the premises and may be liable for accidents or injuries that occur on their property. In Michigan, these cases are generally subject to the “open and obvious” doctrine. Different standards– and deadlines– apply to government property.

Slip and falls can be physically– and financially– devastating. If you’ve been injured in a slip-and-fall in Michigan and are wondering if you have a case, contact a personal injury lawyer for a consultation as soon as possible.  ChurchWyble, P.C. offers free legal consultations, and has been representing injured individuals since 1951.