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Woman Sues Grocery Store for Injuries, Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgement Denied as Court Says They are Triable Issues of Fact


On April 30, 2007 at about 9:15 in the evening, a woman was doing her grocery shopping at the market located at 1050 Willis Avenue, Albertson, New York. She was browsing the fruit and vegetables in the produce section when the vegetable misting machine came on. The misting units were improperly calibrated causing them to spray water out onto the floor of the aisle where the woman was walking. She slipped on the water in the aisle and her foot hit a bunched up area of the mat that was set up to eliminate the risk of wet floor slippage. Because the mat was bunched up, the wet floor was not covered. According to the woman, that was the proximate cause of her slip and fallinjury.

The supermarket owner claimed that the manager had just walked through the produce aisle moments before the woman was injured and did not notice any water or a bunched up mat. The injured woman claimed that the slip into the bunched up mat caused her foot to become stuck in the mat when she fell exacerbating her injury. The market owner denies the allegations. The woman testified that she had been in the produce department for about ten to fifteen minutes and that she had walked past that area herself and not noticed the water or the carpet. It was not until she remembered that she had forgotten something and returned to the area around the snap peas that she slipped and her foot got stuck in the mat.

The market owner contends that the manager had checked the area moments prior to the accident and had not seen any hazard. The woman had been in the area of the accident for fifteen minutes prior to her accident and did not report any hazard to the store. The manager contends that they were never notified that there was a hazardous condition and were therefore unable to prevent the injury that occurred. A New York Injury Lawyer said the manager who is specifically assigned to the produce section testified that he has worked in that area for several years and that he has never seen the vegetable misters dampen the mats. He stated that he has never seen the mats bunch up either. He also testified that he has never received a complaint of mats bunching or water pooling on the floor.

New York law states that for a person to recover damages from a slip and fall accident, they must be able to show that the hazardous situation that caused the accident was one that the property owner either did know about and did not repair, or should have known about and did not repair. They must show that the property owner had time to take corrective action after the hazardous situation was brought to their attention. A Long Island Personal Injury Lawyer said the woman who fell stated that she has noticed the mats bunched up in the produce section before when she has shopped in the store. The manager stated that there has never been a complaint to that effect and that the manager who works in that area has never noticed that problem himself.

The store owner requests summary judgment from the court removing them from any liability in the case of this woman’s injury. A Manhattan Personal Injury Lawyer said they maintain that there is no evidence presented that the mats have ever been a problem, or that the store management has ever been notified that there was a hazard. They also maintain that since they were not advised of any dangerous situation, they cannot be held liable for not repairing it. In fact, had the woman notified them of the situation, it is likely that they could have taken corrective action before she was injured.

The court determined that there were triable issues of fact that needed to be presented to a jury. The request for summary judgment on behalf of the store is denied. At Stephen Bilkis & Associates, New York personal injury attorneys can help you formulate your claim for recovered damages. We are located in convenient offices throughout New York and the Metropolitan area. A New York slip and fall lawyer can examine your case and help you make the best decisions for you and your family.

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