This case involves a slip and fall in a supermarket. On the day that the injury occurred, there had been a significant snowfall, and as a result, the shopping carts were covered in snow. Since no one at the supermarket was tasked with clearing off the carts, customers who used the carts while shopping had tracked a significant amount of snow into the store. As a result of this snow melting on the floor, several areas of the supermarket became extremely slippery. While shopping, the plaintiff slipped on one of the pools of water caused by the melting snow, sustaining a range of serious injuries.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Do you manage a supermarket?
- 2. Do you task employees with cleaning off shopping carts when it snows?
Expert Witness Response
All good management decisions are based on a proper assessment of the situation and application of company protocols. Everything we do on a snowy day (having the parking lot plowed and salted, assigning employees to shovel and salt sidewalks, assigning employees to put down extra safety rugs, assigning employees to mop and dry wet floors beyond the rugs, using fans or other equipment to keep floors dry) is to ensure a safe transition from the customer’s car (or walking from the sidewalk) to the dry floor inside the store, and back again. Increasing customer awareness of the situation is also key, such as “Caution” and “Wet Floor” signs to communicate to the customer that there are potential hazards. In order to minimize this transition zone, if wet carts from snow (or rain) are making the dry floor (past all these protections) dangerously wet, an employee should be assigned to remove the snow or dry the carts.