I never cease to be amazed at the number of stores that respond to spills or other dangerous conditions on their floor by simply throwing out a plastic cone and leaving it there. As if this is where their responsibility ends. How often have you asked someone to please clean up ‘aisle 5’ , only to be met with a blank stare….who me? Recently, it took me three attempts to get an employee to even respond to a spill (syrup) beside the check out aisle. I just wanted to make someone aware of a potential problem but unfortunately, the employee is unconcerned, or too busy, or it’s not his responsibility. As a result of their corporate thoughtlessness, someone is often severely injured.
In a recent law suit against a local supermarket our elderly client fell and was badly injured when she slipped in an area in which a spill had recently been mopped up. The item my client came to purchase was on that aisle and despite how carefully she tried to walk in that area, she slipped and fell, suffering a fractured hip which required surgery. Yes, a ‘wet floor’ sign had been set out in the aisle, but why couldn’t they simply have taken the time to wipe the floor dry, rather than leaving it wet and inviting customers to keep shopping? Thankfully, we were able to successfully address the store’s poor practice and my client’s injuries were acknowledged and she was fairly compensated by the jury. But it should not take a law suit to correct this constant threat of harm from slippery floors, inconspicuous wet spots, merchandise displays in the aisles, or on-going construction tools and materials. Such hazards are far too prevalent in store-front commerce but for now, it seems , it requires litigation to get them to acknowledge the problem.
In the meantime, continue to pursue the employees and/or the store manage , to address your safety concerns in and around their businesses. Afterall, it is you and me, the public, that they are inviting in, for their profit.
For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Premises Liability / Slip & Fall.