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Slip And Fall Results In Wrongful Death Lawsuit


This is an older lawsuit, filed in 2011, involving a recently married woman who slipped and fell at a Costco. Her injuries were extensive. She hurt her knee so badly that she dislocated her kneecap, an injury for which she required surgery. At some point, she was rushed back for emergency surgery, but she didn’t survive the procedure. A blood clot had gone to her heart.

While slip and fall lawsuits don’t usually result in wrongful death claims, the Costco was faulted for leaving chicken grease on the floor. This created a slip hazard which was the first event in a chain that resulted in the woman’s death. Is Costco liable for wrongful death? We don’t know. Costco settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed amount of money and the terms of that settlement are now sealed. Among the allegations against Costco were that the store was negligent for leaving chicken grease on the floor and that its floors were inherently dangerous and prone to slip hazards. Now, some attorneys are pushing for industry standards in flooring that will help prevent these incidents from occurring each year.

Each year, Americans pay $50 billion to treat trips, slips, and falls. Insurance companies must pay for medical expenses, plus pain and suffering damages, and lost wages, among other considerations. Could industry standards really help prevent the majority of these slips and falls from occurring?

Industry-wide friction standards for floors 

One of the roles of a personal injury lawyer is to function as a consumer advocate for broad interests. In this case, personal injury lawyers would like to see the industry employ specific standards for friction in terms of flooring. This could help reduce the overall number of slip and fall cases which cost American businesses billions each year, represent a serious liability issue for insurance companies, and are becoming more expensive to settle.

Part of the problem is that slip and fall accidents can range anywhere from a bruise on your butt to serious life-altering brain damage or other issues. In the case mentioned above, a woman ultimately lost her life because of a particularly brutal slip and fall accident while shopping. With so much money being handed out to slip and fall plaintiffs, you would think that the insurance companies would be providing incentives to install higher friction flooring.

Do we really need regulations for everything? 

Well, that’s the argument. Businesses are now being required to act as pandemic police, ensure their premises are safe, and to be on top of everything that could possibly go wrong. In an effort to avoid certain types of injury lawsuits, we place so much stress on individual businesses that the cost of doing business is driven through the roof. Meanwhile, the insurers can do a better job of offering discounts to businesses that install high-friction flooring. It would not only save them money, but it would reduce the rate of slips and falls. A win-win for everyone.

Talk to a Tampa Personal Injury Attorney Today 

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, the proprietor may be responsible for your injuries and required by law to provide you with compensation. Call the Tampa personal injury attorneys at The Matassini Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your situation in more detail.



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