Grocery store shopping is a weekly chore for most of us. Crowded, chaotic,
messy, and disorganized as grocery stores may be, we simply cannot ignore
this necessary chore.
Experienced Kingston slip and fall attorneys also know that accidents occur regularly at grocery stores. You should
know that you have rights if you were injured at a grocery store. Moreover,
grocery stores are responsible for their patrons’ safety.
Now of course this does not mean that a grocery store owner will be liable
for every harm that may come upon a customer while on the premises. In
general terms, the store must be kept in a reasonably safe condition so
that guests are not caused foreseeable and preventable harm. Thus, a patron who
slips and falls at a grocery store may be entitled to receive compensation for his or
Normally this is done through routine store inspections. Supermarket staff
are supposed to patrol the aisles and cure any defects. State and local
regulators may inspect the store as well. Nonetheless, items fall off
of shelves and injury customers, carts harm people, wet floors and or
floor mats cause people to fall, food unfit for consumption is sold to
patrons, and even the parking lot areas are not kept in reasonably safe
Whether a grocery store patron is injured in a
slip and fall due to wet floors or by floors dirtied with food, the injured customer
may have a valid claim against the grocery store founded upon a theory
of negligence. When the grocery store violates the duty to keep customers
safe from undue harm, the grocery store has committed negligence.
experienced Kingston slip and fall attorneys we specifically mention water and food hazards because these are the greatest
causes of slip and fall accidents in grocery stores. You should be most
cautious in and around entrances and exits. This is where rainwater, snow,
slush, and ice is tracked into the store by other patrons. The produce
section can have floors wet by water used to moisten the produce. The
floral department will have wet flooring, as will restrooms.
You read above that the grocery store
must keep the premises in a safe condition. But obviously the store cannot be expected to post employees in every
possible location so that hazardous conditions can be immediately rectified.
When a grocery store will be liable for the most part depends upon how
the hazard was created and how long it was there for.
Therefore, if a grocery store employee caused the hazard, liability will
attach to accidents quickly if the hazard isn’t repaired or highlighted
with a warning to patrons. In legal terms this is referred to as cure
and notice. The store has to put patrons on notice that the dangerous
condition exists if the danger is not immediately repaired.
The best way grocery store owners and managers can avoid liability is by
having standardized protocols and procedures for store maintenance. It
could be as simple as having an hourly rounds chart that lists action
steps with each step signed off on when completed. This regular business
routine is where some grocery stores are neglectful. Had such a store
employed such a routine, many hazards would have been discovered before a patron
slipped and fell. Such is a perfect example of constructive notice issues.
We should also talk briefly about reasonableness in general. The word,
“reasonable” is used by every personal injury attorney. It
has a very specific meaning in the legal field. It doesn’t have
a fixed definition, because the word is subjective. Therefore, reasonableness
should be seen as being like a standard. Courts and attorneys are looking
to see if a reasonable person in similar circumstances would have done
anything different than what the offending grocery store owner did. If
not, there may not be a reason to find negligence.