Stairs are often made of materials that become worn with continued use. People tend to use stairs everyday and they can take a beating over long term use. Stair edges can become rounded and may cause people to slip, or even trip, when they step on them. Under California law, a property owner will be liable for a slip and fall accident occurring on stairs when the property owner knew of the dangerous condition, or the condition existed for sufficient time that the owner should have known about it. If the owner knew (actual notice) or should have known (constructive notice) about a stairway condition, liability may arise when:
- One or more steps are worn and rounded;
- Debris, such as trash, pieces of paper, dirt, gum, etc., is present on the stairs;
- The stairs have been waxed or polished, and the stair materials lack a non-skid surface;
- A handrail is missing or broken.