Another question on flooring centers on whether the surface of the floor is smooth, but becomes excessively slippery when wet. This is extremely crucial not only on floors but the surfaces of stairwells or staircases. I represented one National City lady who slipped on an excessively slippery wet open stairwell located in an apartment complex. Normally, on a beautiful sunny San Diego day, the stairwell has a normal walking surface. However, when it rained it became excessively slippery and the problem was the owner did not put down traction grids or any other coating to make that surface not so slick when it rained. The owner had a duty as a property owner to reasonably inspect his property for any known dangers or dangers he should have known about. In this case, the duty of due care was breached to my injured lady client because she was visiting the apartment complex to inquire on an apartment for rent, and was responding to an ad for the apartment. Thus, she had no prior knowledge of the slippery surface, and yes, it had rained that day in San Diego. Nonetheless, she slipped walking down the stairs and injured herself very badly. If the property owner would have put down a simple fix (traction grids, or a traction paint) it would have made all the difference in helping to prevent the bad injury. Common sense is sometimes used when it comes to evaluating what was reasonable and unreasonable for a property owner to do when it comes to super slick flooring.
Equally important is the color of the floor in relation to the slippery substance or hazard on the floor. For example, if milk is spilled on a white floor, that would be harder to see than a dark cola or coffee spilled on a white floor. Thus, the question becomes was the slippery or hazardous substance hard to see by the slip and fall victim? If yes, then this will help show that the victim could not do anything to prepare or even abate or avoid the slip and consequent fall injury. This is called the "camouflage theory" in notice by the slip and fall victim. The question in these cases centers on time meaning "how long the spill was on the floor" becomes crucial. The longer the time the more an argument can be made that the property owner completely failed in remedying a hazardous flooring condition which helped to cause the slip and fall injury.
Remember, measurement and testing of the floor is very important in a California slip and fall case. The injured victim's attorney has to show that the floor was dangerous under the conditions existing at the time of the accident - the floor itself can become center stage evidence in helping to show whether this existed or not.