As our readers know, customers have the right to be safe and free from injury when shopping at local commercial entities, such as grocery stores. Under tort law (the area of the law which covers personal injuries), customers are called invitees and are owed the highest duty of care from store owners, as they are people invited onto the property to do business and benefit the owner. For that reason, it is the duty of those who operate the store to keep it free from dangers, warn of known dangers, and immediately remedy any dangers when they discover them.
According to an article by the Cook County Record, a Frankfort, IL Jewel-Osco is being sued for negligence in a slip and fall accident. A man filed this suit after he sustained injuries when falling over an item that was left on the ground in the aisle of the Jewel-Osco. The complaint elaborates that he tripped on a broken and loose refrigerator plate on the floor, which caused him to fall and become injured. He is now seeking damages in excess of $50,000.
In court, the plaintiff in a slip and fall accident must show one or more of three factors to be successful in the lawsuit. First, the plaintiff must show that the property owners failed to maintain the property. In this way, the plaintiff would present evidence that the plate was loose and damaged and had not been maintained by the store. Second, the plaintiff could show that the property owners created unsafe conditions, which caused the injury. In this way, the plaintiff may argue that the store was the cause of a dangerous condition that caused injury. Third, the plaintiff could argue that the property owners knew about the dangerous premises but did not alert visitors to this knowledge. Here, the plaintiff would argue that this was an open and obvious hazard that the store would have known about but failed to remedy it or warn others, such as by blocking it off, closing the aisle, etc.