What happens if a slippery floor that causes a slip and fall is an inherent part of a store’s business? Does a store still owe a duty to customers to keep the floors safe?
As a slip and fall accident lawyer, I have seen many ways where people can slip, trip, and fall. While many slip and fall accidents occur outdoors on the sidewalk, slip and fall accidents can happen inside of premises, especially when liquid is an inherent part of a business’s daily routine. Even still, a duty of care is owed to keep the floor in a reasonably safe condition.
I handled a case where a woman slipped and fell on a slippery floor in a seafood store and sustained a broken wrist that required surgery. The floor was wet in this instance because the seafood was kept in boxes that were overflowing with ice. Some of the ice landed on the floor, creating a slippery condition.
The store initially argued that it did not have a duty to keep the floors safe because this was an open and obvious condition, and the plaintiff customer assumed any risk by walking onto an obviously wet floor. The argument was that clearly fish must be kept on ice, and any reasonable person should assume that the floor in a fish store will be wet.
I conducted a thorough deposition of the store manager, where I got him to admit that the risk manager from his insurance company had inspected the store months before the accident, and had suggested that mats be put down to avoid slip and falls which could lead to injuries. Instead of purchasing mats, the store owner simply purchased several newspapers each day, and put them down haphazardly throughout the store.
Through my in depth deposition of the store manager, I was able to elicit testimony which showed that he knew he’d done something wrong. The attorneys for the fish store knew that their arguments would not hold water, so to speak, so settlement negotiations began. Because the slip and fall accident clearly was caused by negligence, and the serious nature of the plaintiff’s injuries, this slip and fall accident settled for a significant six figure sum. Click here–slip and fall cases–to see further discussion of slip and falls. FindLaw also has a comprehensive discussion of slip and fall.
Call the Slip and Fall Attorneys
If you are injured in a slip and fall that you think may have been caused by someone’s negligence, call the slip and fall attorneys at Haicken Law, at (212) 363-HURT right away, before you speak to an insurance adjuster or sign anything about the accident.