A New Orleans resident is suing grocery chain Whole Foods Company, Inc. after suffering an injury on the premises of a store. The plaintiff filed a complaint on July 3 in Orleans Parish Civil District Court accusing the store of negligence.
The plaintiff was a guest at Whole Foods in July 2016. While shopping, the plaintiff slipped on a puddle of liquid and suffered injuries. The defendant is accused of failure to warn of the danger, clean up the mess and for overall negligence. The plaintiff seeks all reasonable damages as well as court costs, attorney fees and any other appropriate relief.
When Is a Store Liable for a Slip and Fall?
Cases involving slip and falls in grocery stores are not always smooth.
Owners of stores may be liable when someone slips on a puddle if the owner knew or reasonably should have known about the condition and did nothing to fix it. What makes it difficult to prove for the injured party is that the store knew or should have known about the puddle. The help of an attorney is valuable here, and it may be possible to obtain witness statements regarding the puddle or to subpoena surveillance footage showing that the condition existed but was not rectified.
Stores must also adequately warn of known conditions. This might involve placing up a wet floor sign to indicate the presence of a hazard. Failure to do this in a timely manner may mean that the store is liable for injuries.
But it’s not just the store’s responsibility. Customers are expected to exercise reasonable caution as well. Ask yourself: would a reasonably careful customer have noticed the condition and avoided it? If so, then the store might not be liable.