Slip & Fall Accident Hazards – Debris in an Aisle


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Under Pennsylvania slip and fall and trip and fall accident law, store owners owe customers and guests the highest duty to ensure that the store grounds are kept in a reasonably safe condition. Of course, this does not mean that stores are required to keep the floors and aisles spotless and completely free of debris. Rather, what is considered unreasonable will depend on the circumstances of each particular case.

Whether it’s a grocery store or a large department store, store owners must exercise reasonable care and caution in store operations and maintenance of the premises, which includes the aisles. It is certainly appropriate to require inspections of the premises and also train and manage employees to keep a careful lookout for slip, trip and fall hazards. Store owners can and should appreciate the risk of injury in fall accident situations. Common kinds of debris which can create liability for a store for a slip or trip and fall accident include:

  • food,
  • liquid,
  • trash,
  • paper,
  • leaves,
  • oil/grease, and
  • mud.

Example 1: Timberlake v. Target.  Department store likely liable when a customer slips on baby vomit on the floor near entrance of store which was also near the management desk. Given that the entrance was naturally a place of high traffic and especially since the management desk was nearby, there was a strong argument that the employees should have seen the vomit before the accident occurred.

Example 2: Large electronic store likely liable when a customer slips on trash/advertising circulars on the floor, where store employees knew that the circulars had a tendency to fall on the floor. See Siffel v. Best Buy, an October 2012 federal court case in Pennsylvania.

Related Pennsylvania Slip and Fall Legal Articles:

Philadelphia Pennsylvania Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer

The law firm of Laffey, Bucci & Kent has helped many slip and fall and trip and fall accident victims. The firm offers a FREE, INITIAL consultation. Contact our Philadelphia slip and fall accident lawyers. Click To Call. Our lawyers can obtain special admission in other states, such as New York or Delaware, on a case by case basis.

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