This case involves a slip and fall accident in an airport terminal, which resulted in serious injuries for the Plaintiff. On the date of the incident in question, the Plaintiff was awaiting her flight in an airport terminal when she slipped on a puddle of coffee outside of a small coffee shop. The Plaintiff alleged that the coffee shop failed to provide a safe environment, while the coffee shop owners claim that the spill was located in the common area of the terminal, which was the responsibility of the custodial company hired by the airport to maintain. Nevertheless, the airport claimed that the cafe had set up tables and chairs near the area of the spill in the common area, and should therefore be responsible for maintaining safe conditions in that area.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Do you have familiarity with the subject matter described above?
- 2. What procedures could have been put in place to avoid the accident in questions?
Expert Witness Response E-053537
I am familiar with commercial cleaning services and commercial contracts, as I have owned multiple over the past 40 years. There are a lot of moving parts here. I’ll address the cleaning company first. Typically, there should be more than one janitor or cleaning service representative on the premise during a shift, given the size of the facility of course. While the standard of care for most airports is rounds every hour on the hour, and the fact that there was only one representative available during this time is a red flag because, as we see in this instance, it is not enough coverage. The other thing that stands out here is that no log was in place. Procedures are in place for a reason and that definitely falls back on individual. Now I will speak about the cafe. If the cafe has tables and chairs in the common area not on their leasing grounds, then whoever is responsible for cleaning tables should also clean up spills in that area. To be more specific, if the cafe cleans the tables in the common area they should also clean up spills on the floor. If it was the cleaning service’s responsibility, the same applies.
This expert has over 40 years experience in the commercial cleaning industry. He has owned multiple cleaning services throughout the northeast. He is currently the Director of Operations for a family owned and operated commercial cleaning company. He provides a full range of cleaning and consulting services to a broad customer base that include commercial, medical ( including medical manufacturing and clean room cleaning ), bio-technology, educational and industrial facilities.