Spill Caused by Free Samples Causes Serious Injuries

Retail Safety Expert WitnessThis case takes place in Florida and involves a slip and fall at a grocery store. The supermarket was giving away free samples of a frozen dessert, which required the store to set up a large machine designed to produce and dispense the product in an area with a large amount of customer foot traffic. During the time in which the free samples were being handed out, a large spill of the dessert occurred. At this point, the spill was spotted by a store employee who went to get cleaning materials in order to clean the spill. The spill was unattended while the employee went to get the cleaning supplies, and no signs were placed to warn customers of the potential danger. It was during this time that the plaintiff suffered serious injuries after slipping on the unattended spill.

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?

Expert Witness Response E-008972

I have extensive experience in grocery stores and I can determine if they did not appropriately handle this situation. If they did not mark off the area or have an employee in the area monitoring spill than I can see a problem.

Expert Witness Response E-008472

I have 44 years of experience in managing supermarket operations including safety. I currently perform safety inspections at the current store where I work. The scene should have been secured with wet floor signs to prevent incidents such as this. Each store should have policies and procedures that prevent spills from being left unattended, as this causes a dangerous environment that allows accidents like the above to occur. It would be typical of employees to either guard the area where the spill has occurred, or to place signs indicating the danger to the store’s customers. Clearly, these procedures were not properly followed in this instance.


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