This case involves a man in Ohio who suffered serious and permanent injuries after a slip and fall accident in a supermarket. At the time of the incident in question, the man was shopping in the canned goods aisle of the store. The aisle had experienced a significant spill of vegetable oil that extended the entire length of the aisle, and the aisle had been blocked off with a cone at one end but not the other. The man was not aware of the spill when he entered the aisle, since there were no additional cones or warning signs in place to indicate the dangerous condition to shoppers. As a result, the man slipped on the oil and fell, suffering a traumatic brain injury that has severely impacted his day-to-day life.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Do you have extensive experience managing supermarkets?
- 2. Are you familiar with with proper steps and protocols that need to be followed in order to prevent accidents?
- 3. Has a customer ever been injured after slipping on a spill at a supermarket you managed?
Expert Witness Response E-023913
I have extensive experience in managing big box stores furnished with grocery departments complete with food, drinks and liquid spill-able products. Having managed such facilities for years, I know the procedures customarily used to prevent further accidents subsequent to a spill and have written operations policies for such incidents. I have been deposed on several occasions, both as an expert witness and as the manager of a retail chain. In the course of my long career, I have managed many slips and falls while running stores. This is an inherent risk of the industry, however there are generally accepted best practices that should be put in place to prevent such accidents from occurring.
Expert Witness Response E-035847
I have a decade of experience in the grocery business, where I have been able to apply my degree in occupational health and safety. There are basic merchandising and safety standards that need to be followed to ensure shoppers can safely reach the products, and a few ADA standards that can help to protect shoppers with disabilities. I constantly train new team members in different areas of safety. Safety is one of my favorite topics to teach and I have created a few safety protocols to protect team members and customers in my store. Thanks to this vigilant attention to safety, I have never had an incident like this occur in my store. A dangerous condition such as this should be clearly indicated to customers through appropriate signage and / or employee presence, and spills should be cleaned up as soon as possible.