Palm Beach County schools lack funds for repairs to prevent slip-and-fall accidents

Schools in Palm Beach County, Florida, are suffering from various maintenance problems that could result in slip-and-fall accidents for students. The district’s schools are struggling to deal with plumbing issues, roof leaks, malfunctioning air conditioners and mold.

In 2014, the maintenance department received around 1,300 calls on roofing problems and over 12,000 reports of plumbing issues, according to school records. “Water dripping on floor, ceiling wet and black mold growing on ceiling. Students can slip and fall on wet floor,” said a September 2014 report for one of the schools.

Although some problems were repaired promptly, others resurfaced many times. Preventive and nonemergency maintenance have been minimal due to the school district’s depleted budget, officials said. As a result, necessary projects such as roof repairs have been scrapped. “Maintenance is doing a great job, but you can only do repairs for so long . . . We’re doing the bare basics just to be safe,” said district treasurer Leanne Evans.

Schools can be held liable for slip-and-fall accidents on their premises if they know about a particular dangerous condition and do nothing to fix it. They have a legal duty of care to keep students safe and protect them from personal injury. That duty can include repairing leaking roofs which might result in wet or slippery floors that can cause slip-and-fall injuries, as well as fixing worn flooring and dangerous stairs.

It is important to note that determining fault can be more complicated than it might seem. If you were injured and you believe someone else is fully or partially to blame, contact Chalik & Chalik to learn more about your rights.