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Can a plaintiff succeed in a slip and fall lawsuit by proving that a building owner violated a building code?

Yes, sometimes a plaintiff can successfully file a negligence claim by proving that a building owner was in violation of a code or statute. A building owner has a duty to make certain that the building’s structure complies with all relevant codes. For instance, building codes frequently state requirements regarding the installation of handrails and other such features.

If someone falls on a stairway that is without suitable handrails, and the absence of the handrails was the cause of injury, then a plaintiff could sue the building owner due to violation of a building code. Cases involving building code violations are similar to those involving strict liability, in which the injured plaintiff is not required to prove negligence on the part of the manufacturer. The defective product serves as proof of the manufacturer’s negligence. In the same manner, proof of violation of a building code is sufficient evidence of negligence on the part of the building owner.

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