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Court Deals with Destruction of Evidence in Slip and Fall


On September 16, 2006, a woman and her daughter were shopping in a sporting goods store at 606 West 181st Street in New York. They both got on the escalator to go to the second floor to shop. The daughter got off of the escalator and walked toward the gym clothes. She was almost at the clothes when she heard her mother fall and cry out. She turned and ran to her mother. A New York Injury Lawyer said her mother was laying on the floor of the store at the top of the escalator. Next to her on the floor were some pieces of Mango that were old, brown and mashed down onto the floor. It was evident that her mother had stepped on one and slipped causing her to fall(slip and fall).

The manager of the store ran over and began to yell at the cashiers that they should have cleaned up the mango mess. He berated them for not seeing the problem and taking care of it. He stated that it was part of their jobs to watch for spills and to clean them up as fast as possible. The cashiers claimed that they had not noticed the mango slices on the floor in spite of the fact that the mango was just a few feet away from the cash registers. When the store manager was notified of the incident, he was advised by the attorneys to secure any videotaped footage of the incident that might be on the store’s surveillance cameras. The store was equipped with numerous cameras covering the second floor where the accident occurred. The store manager verified that he had the incident on tape and was told to preserve it for court. He stated that he secured it in the safe. However, a few months later, he advised that it was not available for court because the tape had been destroyed.

The destruction of the evidence on the tape was disconcerting to all involved. The court is left to presume that the tape showed where the dropped fruit had come from and how long it had been on the floor before the accident occurred. A Brooklyn Personal Injury Lawyer said it would also have shown the accident itself. The fact that the tape has been destroyed raises more questions than it answers. The store manager maintains that it does not matter how long the fruit was on the floor because no one employed by the store was aware that the problem existed. Since there was no constructive notice given to the store employees about the damaged fruit on the floor, the manager maintains that he is not liable. Both parties agreed that sliced mangoes are sold outside of the store on a regular basis. They are served pierced on a stick so that they are easy to carry. The store has a policy that prohibits food or beverages inside the store. However, none of the employees saw anyone enter the store with the mango stick.

The store manager filed a request for summary judgment to dismiss the case against him. He claims that he did not have constructive notice that there was a hazard on the floor and that it needed to be cleaned up. A Bronx Personal Injury Lawyer said that he stated that he should be granted summary judgment because the policies are in place, and there is no evidence that the mango pieces had been on the floor long enough for the store owner to be held liable for them.

Stephen Bilkis & Associates has Personal Injury Lawyers in convenient offices throughout New York and Metropolitan area. Do not suffer if you were injured because of the negligence of others. Personal Injury Attorneys can provide you with advice to guide you through any injury. Any time that a person is injured because of the negligence of others, it is important that they obtain an attorney’s advice. By reporting a hazardous situation it is possible to help protect other people from becoming injured by the same or similar circumstances.

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