This case involves a slip and fall that occurred at a grocery store. At the time of the incident in question, the Plaintiff was shopping with her young daughter, who was playing the augmented reality game Pokemon Go, when she entered the produce section of the store. Shortly before she arrived in the produce section, a large spill of strawberries had taken place, which grocery store staff had been alerted to. Despite the fact that staff was aware of the spill, no measures were taken to warn customers of the danger, to block off the spill, or to clean it up. As a result, the woman was looking at her daughter’s Pokemon Go screen when stepped on one of the strawberries and fell, suffering a skull fracture as well as a severe concussion. The woman has since suffered from a persistent decline in her cognitive abilities and will require a lifetime of ongoing care.
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
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 the site to be marked off with signage or monitored by an employee while the floor is still wet. In this case, the store’s staff clearly failed to take appropriate measures to prevent this accident from occurring. I have considerable hands-on grocery experience and have worked on cases very similar to this in the past.
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 retailers; in each of these cases, food items were displaced onto the floor and contributed to the subsequent accident. Major retailers 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, as appears to have been the case here.