Warehouse stores offer shoppers the convenience of being able to purchase a wide variety of goods in one place. While the vastness of such retail establishments allows them to provide customers with one-stop shopping, it can also make it difficult for people working in the store to remedy potentially harmful situations, like spills, when they occur. As such, it is not uncommon for people to encounter slippery conditions in stores and fall and sustain injuries. Whether a store will be liable for harm suffered in a slip and fall accident largely depends on whether it knew or should have known of the presence of a transitory condition that caused the fall, as explained in a recent Florida opinion. If you suffered harm in a slip and fall accident, you could be owed damages, and you should meet with a Florida personal injury lawyer to discuss your potential claims.
The Plaintiff’s Fall
It is reported that the plaintiff was shopping in the defendant’s warehouse store when he slipped and fell in a puddle in the freezer aisle. He stated he did not know how long the liquid had been on the floor, but after he fell, he noticed water leaking from the ceiling above the area where the fall occurred. He sustained back injuries in the fall and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging its negligence led to his harm. The defendant moved for dismissal via summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff could not establish it had constructive notice of the leak as required to impose liability under Florida law.
Establishing Constructive Notice in Florida Slip and Fall Cases
The court ultimately denied the defendant’s motion. The court explained that a reasonable jury could find that the defendant had constructive notice of the water on the floor, and therefore, summary judgment was improper. In Florida, a person who falls on a transitory foreign substance on the floor of a business must establish that the business either knew or should have known of the dangerous condition and taken measures to fix it. Generally, a transitory substance is any solid or liquid substance or item that is in a place where it does not belong. Continue reading