Restaurant Expert Witness Discusses Slip and Fall in Fast Food Restaurant

Michael Morgenstern

Written by
— Updated on October 13, 2017

Restaurant expert witness discusses slip and fall in fast food restaurant This case involves a fifty-nine-year-old woman, who was a customer at a fast food restaurant with several relatives. The woman got up from her table to get drinks for her relatives. When she approached the drink dispenser she felt her foot give way under her. There was a slick, greasy film on the floor near the drink dispenser. The fast food restaurant was understaffed at the time and workers did not conduct any periodic checks of the floor to make sure it was clean. The woman suffered a severe injury to her spine as the result of her fall. She suffered a burst compression fracture of her L1 vertebra. This required her to undergo a lumbar fusion and she was left with a permanent curve in her back. The woman was permanently required to be in a wheelchair. She also was required to be on a permanent pain management program and was unable to get around without the wheelchair. The woman sued the restaurant for negligence in causing her accident.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Can a restaurant customer who suffers a slip and fall accident sue the restaurant if the restaurant fails to clean up a spill on the floor?

Expert Witness Response

Most fast food restaurants are required to follow set procedures for conducting floor inspections and for cleaning up spills on floors so that customers do not have slip and fall accidents. Most of these restaurants have manuals that give proper procedures that staff must follow to prevent slip and fall accidents caused by spills of food and beverages. The purpose of having these procedures is to discover and clean up spills that can make the floors slippery and create a dangerous condition for customers. Any time a franchise owner purchases this type of fast food restaurant, the owner gets a manual that has procedures for maintaining and cleaning floor surfaces. This type of manual typically requires the restaurant manager to perform periodic checks to ensure that the floors do not have any greasy film that could build up on the floor. Since the restaurant manager in this case did not perform periodic checks of the floors, the restaurant was probably negligent in allowing the greasy film to accumulate on the floor and not cleaning it up. Since the restaurant probably failed to follow its own safety procedures in this case, it was probably liable for the woman’s injuries in this case.

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