A Small Spill Creates a Big Mess

Donnea Collins of Louisiana is suing Whole Foods for what she contends was negligence on the part of the retailer. The suit alleges that Ms. Collins slipped and fell on a “liquid” while shopping in the produce section of her local store. Ms. Collins’ lawyers contend Whole Foods should have known about the issue and cleaned it in an appropriate manner. Additionally, according to the lawsuit, Whole foods is accused of “failing to maintain the premises, failing to periodically inspect and clean, failing to keep the premises clean, failing to warn of a dangerous condition and failing to place warning signs.”

This is not the first time Whole Foods has been sued due to a slip and fall issue. In 2010, a Whole Foods in Pennsylvania was sued for $50,000 when a customer slipped and fell and sustained injuries which necessitated medical attention.

To determine whether there is liability in slip and fall cases, the courts look at:

(1)   Actual or constructive knowledge of some condition on the premises by the owner/operator;

(2)    That the condition posed an unreasonable risk of harm;

(3)    That the owner/operator did not exercise reasonable care to reduce or eliminate the risk; and

(4)   That the owner/operator’s failure to use such care proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries

 (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Ortiz, 2000 Tex. App. LEXIS 5199; Keetch v. Kroger, 845 S.W.2d 262, 264 (Tex. 1992); Corbin v. Safeway Stores, Inc., 648 S.W.2d 292, 296 (Tex. 1983).

For a company such as Whole Foods to escape liability they often must prove that they could not have known about such dangers and thus they do not fail the reasonableness standard. Will Whole Foods be held liable in this new case? Read more here: http://dailyinbox.com/woman-goes-after-whole-foods-company-after-slip-and-fall-accident/.

 Post by Sarah Perez and Daniel Broidy

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