I was grocery shopping at a local supermarket this past Saturday and noticed that there was a puddle of clear liquid by the produce section. Because it was Saturday, there were many children with their parents at the supermarket. Some children were running around the puddle. As a mother, I was afraid that someone, specifically a child, was going to slip and fall in the puddle and get hurt.
I immediately told the staff at the supermarket and the employee thanked me for telling him. As I watched the employee walk away to get a mop to clean up the puddle, I saw him stop to talk to another employee.
I then continued my grocery shopping and didn't think about the puddle again. As I was about to check out, I realized I forgot tomatoes and went back to the produce section.
I saw that the puddle of water was still there, and there were no signs or warning cones around the puddle to warn customers of the potential hazard of slipping and falling on the water.
The personal injury lawyer in me could not help but think that the supermarket was exposing itself to liability if someone fell on the water. I have helped many injured individuals who slipped and fell in public places, such as supermarkets. A person who slips and falls due to a dangerous condition at a public establishment can sue for injuries.
Pursuant to Pennsylvania law, the supermarket has a duty to protect its customers from dangerous conditions, such as the puddle of water. One of the elements the individual has to prove is that the business had notice of the dangerous condition and did nothing to fix it.
In this case, about 45 minutes passed since I told the employee about the puddle. The store knew about the hazard for about 45 minutes and didn't do anything. If someone fell and got hurt, the supermarket would probably be liable for the person's injuries.
It would be different if someone fell 2 minutes after I told the employee. It would be unreasonable to expect the supermarket to clean up the puddle in those 2 minutes because the employee may have been on his way back with the mop or warning cones.
If you were in a similar situation, injured yourself and have questions, feel free to contact our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania slip and fall lawyers for more information.
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