If a fall happens in a public museum setting and results in injury, is the museum liable if the person who fell was intoxicated?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Responsibility in the damages world is if a duty was owed which was breached. Falling alone does not answer that question. Did the intoxicated person fall on something or in an area which presented a danger to everyone? Did the intoxication play a significant factor in the accident? More information would be needed to assess this kind of claim. It would not be favored and the fees would be limited to 25% of any recovery if the property is owned by a governmental entity.
Just because someone fell on its premises, does not make the museum liable. The museum would be liable if one of its employees or management was negligent (e.g., such as leaving a slippery substance on the floor for a lengthy period of time) and that negligence caused the intoxicated person to fall. If the person "just fell" for no apparent reason or due to their own intoxication, the museum would not be liable. However, it might be possible that the museum has "premises medical payments insurance" which pays medical bills for injuries on the premises without regard to fault. The law of the state where the fall occurred will govern time limits for filing suit. If it occurred in Florida, the person would have four years from the date of the fall to file a lawsuit. In addition, if the museum is owned by a Florida governmental entity, written notice of the intent to sue must be given within three years from the date of the fall.