Rhode Island Personal Injury Lawyer
by Slepkow Law

Supermarkets in Rhode Island and Massachusetts are possibly the most likely businesses to experience regular slip and fall accidents that injure customers. There is constant activity on the sales floor at any supermarket as shelves are continually being filled by staff while customers eliminate the inventories. This flurry of activity is also often done in haste as well, adding to the failure to provide a reasonable duty of care for the shoppers.  A Rhode Island slip and fall attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Wet Floors in Supermarket causing slip and fall

Supermarket slip and fall in RI
Supermarket accident

Failure to clean up a mess on the sales floor is one of the most common reasons for a slip and fall injury. Stores must mop the floor as soon as possible and then post signs in conspicuous locations around the area that indicate the spill cleanup is still in the drying phase.

The floor should be inspected before the signs are removed. It is not just enough to mop the area and leave it unmarked or attended. This safety responsibility is especially important in any area that displays liquid products or in the fruits and vegetables isle.

Tripping on displays

All supermarkets use action alleys to display advertised merchandise, and these are often overloaded or create close quarters in a specific section of the sales floor. The possibility for tripping on the edge of the display always exists. Trip and fall injuries can also occur when other displays are too close for the customer to have ample clearance to navigate the floor. And of course, some displays become centers of attention for many shoppers as well, so the congested shopping areas can also be problematic. It is the responsibility of the store workers to ensure that customers have ample room to browse in a safe manner.

Falling Displays

Store shelves are usually designed according to a specific plan-o-gram that also includes safety considerations in the design. However, these plans are not always used in many stores and the upper level of the shelving is regularly used to store larger items, which are also much heavier in many instances. Storing heavy products over the head of customers is never a good store decision, and it is also important for customers to be aware that many stores are lax in this area of safety concern. The irresponsibility in this type of floor model can also be a component of a store standard negligence claim.

These are just examples of how personal injuries can occur in a supermarket. Regardless of the store type or location, the central point that must be proven in an injury claim is that the store operators were negligent at least in part in their approach to the structural or display issue that actually allowed the injury to occur

Rhode Island Island premises liability law

“Owners and possessors of property have an affirmative duty: “to exercise reasonable care for the safety of persons reasonably expected to be on the premises, and that duty includes an obligation to protect against the risks of a dangerous condition existing on the premises, provided the landowner knows of, or by the exercise of reasonable care would have discovered, the dangerous condition.”Tancrelle v. Friendly Ice Cream Corp., 756 A.2d 744, 752 (R.I. 2000)(citing Cutroneo v. F.W. Woolworth Co., 112 R.I. 696, 698, 315 A.2d 56, 58 (1974)); see also Kurczy, 820 A.2d at 935.”

“Utilizing that standard, this Court has recognized instances in which injured plaintiffs failed to satisfy the burden of proving a business owner’s negligence because of a lack of evidence demonstrating how long a dangerous condition existed, or whether the owner knew or should have known of its existence. See Massart v. Toys R Us, Inc., 708 A.2d 187, 189 (R.I.1998) (per curiam) (Court affirmed judgment in favor of toy store because of lack of evidence showing that employees knew of fallen basketball hoop in aisle before girl was injured); see also Barone, 767 A.2d at 68(retail store properly granted judgment in slip-and-fall case in which the plaintiff presented no evidence of the nature and extent of the alleged puddle of water at the site of her fall and no proof concerning length of time alleged condition was present);Gleason v. Almac’s, Inc., 103 R.I. 40, 42, 234 A.2d 350, 351 (1967) (trial justice improperly denied judgment in defendant’s favor because there was insufficient evidence that store had notice of roll of film on floor and no testimony about store policy on maintaining a safe condition for customers).” Quote from:  840 A.2d 1103 (2004)Virginia MEAD et al.v PAPA RAZZI RESTAURANT et al. No. 2002-648-Appeal. Supreme Court of Rhode IslandJanuary 9, 2004. 1104*1104 Mark P. Dolan, Providence, for Plaintiffs. Jeffrey H. Garabedian, Providence, for Defendants. Present: WILLIAMS, C.J., FLANDERS, GOLDBERG, FLAHERTY, and SUTTELL, JJ. OPINION PER CURIAM.

If you were injured in a slip and fall in Rhode Island contact the best Rhode Island slip and fall lawyers. Providence slip and fall attorneys and RI injury lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve as a result of your supermarket premises liability cause of action in RI and Providence Plantations

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