The $30,000 Trip Hazzard

Don't Get Sued Over 'Easy-to-Fix' Repairs.

The $30,000 Trip Hazard.

You don't have to look far to find hazardous walkways. But many are hard to see and you must LOOK for them before they accidentally find you, a few are marked with a "Caution: Trip Hazard" sign.

Not long ago, we joined a FlexKrete contractor who was meeting the owner (we'll call him John) of a shopping center. Pointing to a newly poured 5' x 5' section of concrete, the owner said: "that cost me $30,000." Of course, we all chuckled a bit - at least until he continued, "You may think it's funny, but I can't afford another one."

TripHazardSignThe actual story isn't far from the truth. The new section of concrete replaced what was a damaged, uneven and cracked section that had an approximate 1' x 1' x 1' hole, where a piece of broken concrete was apparently removed. A few months earlier while on a shopping trip, a woman's heel found this void, resulting in a broken ankle and sprained wrist.

The $30,000 was the amount of the legal settlement, agreed to by the shopping center's owner and the injured woman. Attorney's estimate that if the case had gone to court, she could have been awarded 3 to 4 times the $30,000 settlement.

In reality, that hazardous walkway costs more than the settlement amount. By choosing to tear out and re-pour the entire section (including rebar), the repair was costly and rendered the walkway unusable for 5 days.

While 'Google-ling' for a better repair solution, the property's owner came across our famous FlexKrete video (circa 2004). As the contractor demonstrated FlexKrete, we explained how most walkway hazards (such as the $30,000 trip hazard) can be repaired in an hour or less, and accepts traffic as little as 15 minutes. The contractor was hired to repair all damaged concrete walkways for not only that particular center, but for all 17 properties owned by John.

That contractor now specializes in repairing hazardous walkways.

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