Maine Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Plaintiff in Locker Room Injury Claim

In a recent opinion, a state appellate court ruled in favor of an injury victim in a Maine premises liability lawsuit. The lawsuit originated after a woman fell and sustained injuries in a locker room after attending water therapy. According to the court’s opinion, after her water therapy session, the plaintiff needed to use a bench to change out of her swimsuit. The only bench in the locker room was unavailable because it was covered with a large floor mat, so she attempted to use a handicapped-accessible seat in a shower stall. However, she slipped and fell while walking to the stall and suffered injuries.

A little over three years later, the woman filed a premises liability lawsuit against the facility. However, the facility moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the claim should be based on medical malpractice and not premises liability. Specifically, the defendant claimed that the plaintiff’s claim should be dismissed because it was not timely under the statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits.

The statute of limitations prescribes a period that a claimant can file a lawsuit after they suffer injuries or damages. Typically, when a claimant misses the time set by the statute of limitations, the defendant can move to dismiss the claim based on timeliness. Generally, the statute of limitations begins when the injury occurs or when the plaintiff discovers the harm.

Under Maine Code Title 14, Section 752, civil actions based on premises liability must commence within six years. In contrast, professional malpractice lawsuits, including medical malpractice, must commence within three years. Injury victims that do not comply with these strict requirements risk dismissal and subsequent financial losses.

In this case, the defendant maintained that the plaintiff’s claim was time-barred under Maine’s medical malpractice statute of limitations. They argued that medical malpractice rules apply because she suffered injuries after receiving health care services. The court found that even though the woman was at the building for medical rehabilitation services, she sustained injuries because the facility negligently left a floor mat on the only available changing bench. As such, Maine’s six-year statute of limitations for premises liability claims applied, as opposed to the state’s three-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims. Based on the court’s decision, the plaintiff will be permitted to pursue her premises liability claim against the facility.

Have You Suffered Injuries in Maine Because of the Negligence of Another?

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Maine slip and fall accident, contact Peter Thompson & Associates. The dedicated attorneys at our law firm have comprehensive experience handling all types of Maine personal injury lawsuits. Personal injury defendants will often use creative strategies and tactics to evade liability, but at Peter Thompson & Associates, our attorneys have decades of experience overcoming the various hurdles that defendants may raise. We routinely receive large cash settlements and awards on behalf of injured Maine plaintiffs. Compensation for personal injury cases frequently includes payments for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact the law firm at 1-800-804-2004 to schedule your free initial consultation with a Maine injury attorney.