California Appeals Court Revives a Shopper’s Slip-and-Fall Lawsuit Against a Supermarket

Premises liability lawsuits cases can include slip-and-fall accidents, trip-and-fall accidents and several other varieties of injuries suffered while a person was on the property of someone else. In many circumstances, slip-and-fall accidents may take place because the operator of a commercial business fails to keep its floors sufficiently clean. As a result, when you pursue a slip-and-fall injury accident case against a merchant, you have to show that the business’ policies and practices it had in place for inspecting and cleaning its floors were not reasonable. If you’ve suffered an injury in a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident in Northern California, you should contact an experienced San Mateo injury attorney to provide you with representation in your case.

M.J. was a shopper injured in a slip-and-fall accident. M.J. was shopping at a discount supermarket when she allegedly slipped and fell due to a patch of liquid on the floor of the store. As a result, she sued the supermarket.

In this situation, as with many accident cases, expert witnesses can be an important component of the case. These individuals can often provide powerful evidence that, if the court finds it persuasive, will go a long way toward influencing the outcome. In M.J.’s case, the supermarket provided an expert who testified that the merchant’s system – which involved sweeping the floor once an hour – was a reasonable method for dealing with hazards like spilled liquids. M.J. also had an expert. The shopper’s expert testified that the store’s practices were not adequate and, on top of that, the store’s floor was unreasonably slippery when wet.

In any personal injury case, one of the most important hurdles is defeating a defense motion for summary judgment. If the defense wins this motion, then your case gets dismissed before it ever gets to a jury. In M.J.’s case, the trial court ruled for the supermarket but the appeals court decided that summary judgment was not appropriate in this case and that the shopper should be allowed to proceed with her case toward trial.

The appeals court explained, in ruling in favor of the shopper, that the store’s evidence was persuasive but incomplete. The supermarket had sufficient evidence that the frequency of its inspections of its floors was reasonable because that frequency conformed to industry standards. However, the supermarket lacked adequate evidence that the manner in which the store employees performed those inspections was reasonable. The supermarket’s expert only made sweeping, general statements that the method was reasonable, while M.J.’s evidence pointed to specific ways in which the method weren’t reasonable, such as not sweeping the store’s endcaps.

What all this should tell you is that there’s a lot that goes into a successful premises liability lawsuit. There’s getting past summary judgment, there’s getting the expert evidence you need, and there are many other elements to achieving a favorable outcome. One of those elements is having effective and reliable legal representation. For the legal representation your case needs, contact the knowledgeable San Mateo personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos. Our attorneys have been helping injured people for many years. To set up a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Making Sure that You Avoid All Statutory Immunity Traps that Could Take Down Your California Injury Case, San Mateo Injury Lawyers Blog, Published October 5, 2018

Proving Legal Duty and Foreseeability in Order to Achieve Success in Your California Premises Liability Case, San Mateo Injury Lawyers Blog, Published September 28, 2018