Although it is the responsibility of store owners in New York and elsewhere to maintain their properties in a way that would not pose hazards to the public, allegations of violations of such duties must be substantiated appropriately to be valid. Not all premises liability lawsuits end in a way that benefits the plaintiff. A recent case involving a fall in a Walgreens store in another state did not go quite the way the plaintiff likely wanted.
According to court documents, a woman claimed to have slipped and fallen in a Walgreens store, breaking her kneecap. She was unsure of what caused her to slip but thought it might have been water on the floor. Store employees and other shoppers who helped her said they saw no water, but a friend of the plaintiff who arrived after the incident said she saw water all over the place.
However, this was not good enough for the court. To successfully claim premises liability, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was aware of the hazardous condition and that it existed for a period long enough to allow the property owner to become aware of it and take action to remedy the situation. In this case, the U.S. District Court and the Court of Appeals determined that this was not established and that a breach of the defendant’s duty of care was not proved.
Any New York consumer who has had the misfortune to slip and fall on the property of another might consider seeking legal counsel before rushing to court. An experienced premises liability attorney can assess the circumstances of the fall and determine the viability of a claim. If grounds for a lawsuit exist, and negligence can be established, the lawyer can assist with the ensuing legal proceedings.
Source: FindLaw, “Woman Loses Slip and Fall Case Against Walgreens“, Ceylan Pumphrey, March 27, 2018