Customer Severely Injured in Grocery Store Slip and Fall

    This case involves a fifty-five-year-old woman who was grocery shopping for a dinner party.  She entered the grocery store at 10:00 p.m. started in the produce aisle; the first section of the grocery store when entering through the main doors.  After placing a few items in her cart, she slipped and fell on a bunch of grapes that had fallen onto the floor in the produce department while it was being loaded by a grocery store employee.  While it was clear that the employee was loading the display, the grapes were not noticeable to the woman because of the items on the bottom of her cart.  As a result of her fall, she sustained an open fracture of her right wrist.  The right hand was her dominant hand and required multiple surgeries.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. What safety protocols should be implemented in a supermarket to ensure that customers are safe from a hazardous shopping environment?

    Expert Witness Response

    The prevention of slips and falls in supermarkets are well-covered by a variety of governmental agencies and university studies. According to the National Safety Council, slip and falls account for nearly 9 million visits to the emergency room each year and have been the cause of over 25,000 fatalities in 2009. It is essential for an employer to maintain a safe shopping environment, free of debris, which may cause a slip and fall. These safety measures protect both employees and store patrons. Additional safety measures include slip-resistant flooring and cushioned mats located in areas where there is a high-likelihood of falls, such as the produce section.

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