Many businesses or other establishments have landscaping that is professionally maintained to give a nice look and feel to the ‘front porch’ of their business. However, these businesses have an obligation to make sure that this landscaping is properly maintained and not dangerous to the public who is invited onto the property. Landscape edging is a type of wood, metal, plastic, or other material that can be used in landscaping for a wide variety of things, from keeping a flowerbed looking nice and tidy to erosion control.
However, if landscape edging is not installed properly, or if it is placed in an area where pedestrians could normally be expected to walk, it can be very dangerous and cause a serious trip hazard. William Jordan and the team at Jordan Law Center have decades of combined experience working on trip and fall cases where property owners of all different types left landscape edging in dangerous conditions, causing serious injuries to pedestrians.
Many types of landscape edging are metal or plastic barriers held in place by stakes that are hammered into the ground, and the edging itself should be as close to the ground as possible. In order to properly install this type of edging, a landscaper must first dig a trench with a trowel, a step many skip. Then the stakes and the edging must be hammered down into the ground properly, generally with no more than one half inch sticking out above the ground. It is also important to back fill the ditch after installation is completed.
Keeping the top of the edging close to the ground, generally no more than half an inch above ground, minimizes any trip hazard:
Also, where a business might reasonably expect foot traffic, the placement of landscape edging is well-known to be dangerous. In this real life example from a case that Jordan Law Center brought, the business owner put a flowerbed at the corner of two sidewalks that had signficiant pedestrian traffic, knowing that pedestrians would be walking very close to the corner. The landscaper who installed the edging also left it over 2 inches above the ground, more than four times the recommended height.
The resulting trip and fall caused devastating injuries to the pedestrian, who broke both her arms and struck her face on the ground. At the time of the fall, the reflectors shown above were not in place, making the situation even more dangerous, and they were only installed later after the business owner recognized how dangerous this edging was. The business later removed the flowerbed and the edging completely because it eventually recognized a serious trip hazard. However, it was far too late to prevent serious injury.
If you or someone that you know and love has been injured because of landscape edging or some other kind of landscaping defect, contact the Jordan Law Center today for a free consultation on your case.