Tiger Woods’ company confronted with slip-and-fall lawsuit

Tiger Woods is facing a slip-and-fall case filed by one of his former security guards, John Davis, who is also a retired police officer. While guarding Woods’ mansion in Jupiter Island, Florida on December 23, 2010, Davis slipped and fell on a marble walkway. As a result of the fall, Davis, who resides in Miami, critically injured his knee to the point at which he was required to undergo surgery. And he will have to endure another surgery this year.

According to the lawsuit, the accident was caused by a poorly oriented sprinkler head that made the marble walkway so slippery that Davis’ fall was inevitable. Davis is therefore alleging negligence on the part of Woods’ company, which is the owner of the sprawling mansion, valued at $45.5 million. The defendant named in the lawsuit is not Woods, but rather, Christopher Hubman, who is the CEO of the company.

In response to the allegations, the defendant contends that Davis should have realized that the walkway was slippery, and thus, was contributorily negligent in causing his own fall. However, under premises liability, Davis had a reasonable expectation of being free from injury while he was working at Woods’ house. And as the owner or resident of the property, Woods had a legal duty to maintain the property in a safe condition.

Because Davis was present on the property as Woods’ employee, he was an invitee, who is someone who receives an invitation to enter the property of another. The implication generally is that the owner or resident has ensured that the premises are safe for all who are invited onto the property. Furthermore, since Davis was patrolling the mansion, it is foreseeable that he would have fallen and injured himself after having encountered a slippery surface.