De Cruz-Haymer v. Festival Food Mkt., Inc., 4D11-3580, 2013 WL 3811777 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. July 24, 2013)
This is a premises liability case there was a patron of a grocery store who was injured while she was carrying her groceries out of the store. A personal injury claim was filed attempting to allege there was issues with how the store maintained its premises.
Paulette Haymer and her husband were shopping at a Bravo grocery store. The store that the two were shopping at only had one entrance for its patrons, which served as the exit as well. The two had shopped at this Bravo location previously and remember there being a floor mat at the entrance, but could not recall if one was there on this day that they entered the store. Once the couple made their purchases, Mr. Haymer proceeded to take the cart they had, which was filled with items they bought, to their vehicle. Mrs. Haymer remained in the Bravo grocery store to pick up a few items that they had forgotten to buy.
Mr. Haymer recalled having to wait at the entrance way on his way out to the car because an employee was laying down a mat at the entrance way. As he passed over the mat on his way outside, Mr. Haymer saw that there was parts of the rug that were not entirely flat. In fact, Mr. Haymer stated that he noticed areas of the rug that were “humped” in parts. The mat was not strapped down on the floor and had the ability to move around freely.
As Mrs. Haymer exited the Bravo location with bags of purchased items in her hands, she fell to the ground when she tripped over the rug. Mrs. Haymer claimed that her foot became entangled in the rug once she was walking through the exit door. The fall that she experienced caused her to ‘face-plant’, injuring her back, neck, elbows, knees, and lacerating her face over her eye.
Following the trip and fall incident, a supervisor of the Bravo store had allegedly explained to Mrs. Haymer that the accident was their fault. Mrs. Haymer filed a lawsuit against Bravo for failing to maintain the premises and allowing a hazardous condition to exist.
In Florida, it is necessary to demonstrate and prove to the jury that; 1) the property owner knew or should have known there was a unsafe condition; 2) they failed to repair the unsafe condition or provide adequate warning of its presence; and 3) you were suffered an injury because of the unsafe condition. The property owner must have knowledge of the unsafe condition on their property which caused the injury in order to be held liable. If the property owner did not have knowledge or notice, or there was no reason for the property owner to have known about the unsafe condition, there is a chance that they will not be held liable for the injuries. It is important to be educated on the fact that when entering a business’ property that you yourself are required to use reasonable care for your own safety as well.
If you have been injured in an accident and feel it may have been due to the negligence of the premises, then contact the Fort Lauderdale slip and fall attorneys at Madalon Law and tell us what happened. We will go over your options with you at no cost during your free consultation.