November 08, 2021
Supermarket owners similar to restaurant owners have an obligation to maintain the premises floor. An inherent part of this obligation includes supermarkets implementing protocol and procedures which require employees to consistently and routinely, monitor the supermarket aisles to check for debris, spills and other conditions which may make the premises unreasonably dangerous. Supermarket employees must routinely check the premise floor for debris, liquids, fallen produce and other merchandise in order to maintain the premise floor in a reasonably safe condition. As previously mentioned a property owner owes a duty to preserve the premise in a reasonable safe condition which includes taking reasonable measures to avoid slip and falls resulting from falling items.
Controlling precedent requires that the landowner or occupier of the premises must act as a reasonable man in maintaining his property in a reasonably safe condition in view of all the circumstances, including the likelihood of injury and the burden of avoiding risk. (Please see Restatement of Torts (Second Sec 283); Rowland v. Christian, 69 Cal. 2d 108, 70 Cal. Rptr. 97, 443 P.2d 561 (1968)) “Premises liability is a form of negligence based on the holding in Rowland v. Christian, supra, 69 Cal.2d 108, and is described as follows: The owner of premises is under a duty to exercise ordinary care in the management of such premises in order to avoid exposing persons to an unreasonable risk of harm. A failure to fulfill this duty is negligence.” (Brooks v. Eugene Burger Management Corp. (1989) 215 Cal.App.3d 1611, 1619 [264 Cal.Rptr. 756].)” – CACI 1000. PREMISES LIABILITY – Essential Factual Elements
Property owners and occupiers, including supermarkets and restaurants, must protect against the most common causes of slip and falls and premise liability actions. Common causes of slip and falls include:
Knee injury resulting from supermarket’s failure to clean produce aisle, causing an avoidable slip and fall. Premise Liability
BARNETT – Plaintiff-Verdict: $1,802,347 (2013.08.16) Plaintiff Barnett sued the supermarket’s operator, Super Center Concepts Inc., alleging the defendant’s employee was negligent in the maintenance of area where the onion or potato fell, creating a dangerous condition. Barnett circled around the bin and walked over the same general area where the produce had fallen without incident prior to the fall. Despite the plaintiff’s familiarity with the area of the incident, the supermarket was still found negligent for their failure to preserve the premise and specifically for not cleaning-up produce on the premise’s floor aisle. As a result of the fall, the plaintiff sustained a knee injury, specifically she tore the lateral meniscus in her right knee. Ultimately the plaintiff underwent a meniscectomy, which was performed by an orthopedic surgeon. Three months post-operation, the right knee injury did not subside. Ultimately the plaintiff was indicated for a total knee replacement which she subsequently underwent. Following a seven-day personal injury jury trial, and a three-hour jury deliberation, the jury returned a verdict for $1.8 million dollars in favor of the plaintiff. The verdict included $234,347 in medical expenses, $68,000 in lost earnings and $1.5 million dollars in pain and suffering and other non-economic damages. Knee Injury Verdict: The jury found that the supermarket was negligent and that the negligence caused the plaintiff’s injuries including the knee injury.
Theresa Barnett v. Super Center Concepts, Inc. (Confidential Case Settlement; August 16, 2013; Cause of Actions: Premise Liability, Negligence, Store Negligence, Dangerous Condition on a Store Premises, Slips, Trips & Falls, Slip and Fall; Injury Types: Knee Injury, lateral meniscus tear, arthroplasty, knee surgery; meniscectomy; knee surgery; knee replacement; Filing Court: Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA)
Negligence: Slip and Fall and other Premises Liability Articles