Let's compare and contrast two different slip-and-fall scenarios, one of which is likely to give rise to the property owner's liability for an injury and a valid slip-and-fall case worth pursuing, while in the other case the injured person is unlikely to prevail in his/her case against the property owner:
1. John goes into a pharmacy store and while trying to pick out a shampoo in the hair-products isle, he slips and falls on a spilled hair lotion. The investigation shows that the lotion was spilled when the store's employee was unpacking and placing the hair product on the shelf. The evidence also show that the employee didn't thoroughly clean the area before leaving and didn't put a warning sign in that area as often required or didn't bother to clean the area or ask someone to clean it at all. Under these circumstances, John has a good chance to win his slip-and-fall case against the store, because it was ultimately the store's responsibility to maintain the shopping area in a safe manner and the store's employee was negligent by failing to maintain the safe conditions in the store or warn customers against a dangerous condition.
2. Brad goes into a grocery store and while walking through the magazines isle, slips and falls on blueberry jam that was spilled by a customer 5 minutes before the incident. The investigation reveals that the store has a strict policy of having its employee walk through the store and inspect the floor and the shelves every hour. Under this circumstances, Brad will have a hard time to recover for his slip-and-fall injuries. First, the store owner didn't create the dangerous condition; one of the customers did. Secondly and even more importantly, the store was probably not negligent because it did what a reasonable person would have done to maintain its property by requiring frequent and periodic inspections throughout the store.
For more useful tips, please visit our slip-and-fall injuries information page.