Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP

free consultation


  • Spanish, Portuguese, Hebrew and Arabic Services Available
contact Menu

When slip-and-fall accidents result in property damage

The cold winter weather means that it’s slip-and-fall season here in New York and across much of the Northeast. When business owners and landlords fail to shovel sidewalks and spread salt on the ground, they may be held liable for injuries suffered by customers and passersby.

Sometimes, slip-and-fall accidents have consequences that go beyond injuries. If a person happens to be carrying a very expensive item when they slip and fall, the business owner could potentially be held liable for the resulting property damage.

A good example comes from Vermont. Orchestral string instruments made by Stradivarius are considered to be among the finest musical instruments ever produced. They are also quite rare, as the Italian manufacturer of these instruments died in the early 1700s. Only about 500 Stradivarius violins are still in playing condition today, along with about 140 cellos and violas. Needless to say, they are very expensive instruments, and musicians fortunate enough to own one almost always have them insured.

In January of 2012, a musician was carrying a Stradivarius violin outside of a Sheraton Hotel in Vermont. He slipped on an icy sidewalk. The violin was in its case, but the case smashed against the ground and the violinist’s chin smashed against the case. Repairs to the instrument cost more than $89,000 and allegedly reduced its value by more than $1 million.

The insurance company reimbursed the musician for most of the repair costs. It is now pursuing what’s known as “subrogation” against the hotel owners. When insurers engage in subrogation, they seek damages from a third party that essentially caused an insurance loss to one of their policyholders. In short, the insurer pays the claim and seeks to recoup its costs by pursuing compensation from the party that allegedly caused the damage.

The moral of the story here is that property owners have a duty to ensure that their property is well-maintained and that foreseeable hazards are addressed before they result in injuries and property damage. When they fail to clear and de-ice a slippery sidewalk, it could end up costing them a lot of money.

Source: Courthouse News Service, “Icy Slip Smashes a Stradivarius,” Jan. 15, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For a Response

Have Questions? Get A Free Case Review

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

150 Broadway Suite 300 New York, NY 10038

New York Office
150 Broadway
Suite 300
New York, NY 10038

Phone: 212-571-7171
Fax: 212-571-7174
Map & Directions

Fair Lawn Office
11-18 Saddle River Road
Fair Lawn, NJ 07410

Phone: 201-659-4144
Fax: 212-571-7174
Map & Directions

Garden City Office
1461 Franklin Ave, Suite 2SE
Garden City, NY 11530

Phone: 516-747-7472
Fax: 212-571-7174
Map & Directions

Stamford Office
1010 Washington Boulevard
Stamford, CT 06901

Phone: 203-862-8699
Fax: 212-571-7174
Map & Directions