This case involves a slip and fall that occurred at a grocery store in Montana. The plaintiff was traveling through the produce section of the store at the time of the accident. The plaintiff had just rounded a corner next to a display of fruits when he suddenly slipped on a number of berries that had fallen on the floor from the display. In addition to the presence of the spilled fruit on the floor, it was also noted that the floor was still wet from a cleaning that had presumably occurred just before the fruit spilled from the display. The plaintiff suffered multiple, significant injuries as a result of the fall, including serious damage to his spine that required multiple surgeries to repair. As a result of the accident, the plaintiff was unable to work for the better part of a year, and incurred significant medical expenses.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please discuss your experience with safety protocols in a supermarket.
- 2. Based on the description of the summary, what are some of the guidelines to prevent such an accident from occurring?
- 3. Have you served as an expert on a case involving a similar claim?
Expert Witness Response E-004539
I am a retail store designer by trade and have a thorough knowledge of retail store operations and safety. I have assisted in very similar slip and fall cases for plaintiffs against a number of major national retail brands. In each of these cases, food items were displaced onto the floor and contributed to the subsequent accident. Major retailers, such as the grocery store chain in question here, have employee protocols detailing how to inspect the store on a routine basis. All too often these rules printed in training manuals or store procedure manuals are not followed or documented correctly. I have handled cases like yours by first reviewing the store protocols to determine where possible points of weakness or opportunities for hazards may lie.
Expert Witness Response E-008972
Berries are a sort of product that would typically call for a mat to be placed in the display area so as to reduce the risk of slips and falls in the event that the produce spills. Furthermore, once a spill has occurred and been cleaned, it is standard for site to be marked off with signage or monitored by an employee while the floor is still wet. I have considerable hands-on grocery experience and have worked on cases very similar to this in the past.