Walmart Wins Slip and Fall Lawsuit Against Florida Woman
A Florida mother slipped and fell on a rainy day in a Walmart store. She sued the company, and her attorney asked a Florida jury for over $5 million in damages. The plaintiff claimed that she had incurred over $2 million in medical expenses alone related to her slip and fall injury. She alleged that she had suffered back injuries that required three surgeries and required ongoing pain management.
An attorney for the plaintiff argued that Walmart violated their own policy in failing to give customers umbrella bags. He pointed to surveillance footage that showed customers tracking water into the store and creating a slip hazard. He further claimed that the wet umbrellas created a slip hazard that went unattended for at least 7 minutes. He argued that Walmart employees failed to address the hazard and his client was injured because of that failure. He further stated that a Walmart employee walked through the slip and fall hazard left on the floor without remedying it. Below, we’ll explain how slip and fall injury lawsuits are won and opine on why this case ended up a loser.
Duty of care in slip and fall accidents
A proprietor has a duty of care to ensure that the premises are safe for their customers. This includes addressing wet floor hazards within the store. In this case, the plaintiff offered two arguments related to Walmart’s negligence. The first argument stated that Walmart failed to give customers umbrella bags for their wet umbrellas. The second argument stated that Walmart knew about the slip hazard but failed to remedy it. In a case like this, the second argument is the most compelling.
In a slip and fall accident, a plaintiff proves negligence by establishing that the employees knew about the hazard and failed to remedy it. In this case, an attorney for the plaintiff was able to establish that a Walmart employee walked through the slip hazard. That should have been enough to establish liability. However, Walmart successfully argued that the hazard had not sat on the ground long enough for Walmart to have constructive notice of it.
It sounds like the plaintiff met their burden of proof. However, you never know what is going to happen in front of a jury. In this case, the jury came down on the side of Walmart even though the plaintiff argued that a Walmart employee had foreknowledge of the slippery floor hazard. The jury didn’t buy it. But if an employee traveled over the slip and fall hazard, that would establish negligence in most slip and fall cases.
Talk to a Tampa, FL Slip and Fall Injury Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, call the Tampa personal injury attorneys at The Matassini Law Firm today. We can help you recover damages related to your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.