Negligent Placement of a “Cold Joint” Can Result In Responsible Parties Being Liable for Slip and Fall Injuries

A “cold joint” or “construction joint” is formed during the process of laying concrete when the second batch of concrete is placed after the first set of concrete has begun to settle. As a result of the delay, the two batches are unable to form a completely uniform mix, resulting in a possible “plane of weakness.” This definition is according to The Concrete Society a website dedicated to providing independent concrete advisory services that include impartial technical advice on concrete.

A common cold joint

While cold joints happen during the concrete process, sometimes due to the limits of how much concrete can be poured in a day or in some cases additional support such as rebar is needed before continuing; regardless of these circumstances proper planning and execution is required to ensure the cold joint will not jeopardize structural integrity, or cause harm to a civilian. Claire LaPosta was one such civilian who had the misfortune of tripping over a negligently placed cold joint resulting in her injury.

The cold joint was constructed by Atlantic Construction Services, an independent contractor hired as part of a residential construction project by Park Grove. Atlantic stopped paving a sidewalk short of a driveway, creating the cold joint between the paved driveway and the concrete sidewalk. It was this cold joint that LaPosta ultimately tripped on and injured herself. The placement of this cold joint was negligence on behalf of Atlantic Construction Services for its creation, and Park Grove for not properly warning of the defect.

A jury returned the verdict with fifty-five percent fault assigned to Atlantic Construction and thirty percent fault to Park Grove jointly and severally. The case Certain Underwriters at Lloyds, London vs. Atlantic Construction Services Inc. references the jury’s verdict for LaPosta.

If you, or a loved one who has been harmed by similar negligence committed by a construction company or property owner, you may have options for obtaining compensation. Plymouth County personal injury law attorney Michael S. Mehrmann has spent many years helping people from across Plymouth County, including in Kingston, Plymouth, Marshfield, Hanson, Carver, Pembroke, and Duxbury, deal with their legal needs. To find out more about how we can assist you, call (781) 585-3911 or contact us online.