Articles Posted in Slip and Fall

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a personal injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this slip and fall lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Leanas further said that the city was aware of the need for visual cueing in the stair design, as it was required in the building code. The city architect designed nose striping into the carpet detail, but the stripes were missing on every third step, and the distance between the stripe and the step’s edge — or nose — varied.

The defense denied liability, contending that the second tier stairs met code requirements. The defense also claimed that the railing system design was the only practical way to install handrails in the symphony setting.

Golden State also contended that its work, done 14 years earlier, fully conformed to all requirements at the time of installation.

The carpet installers argued that the carpet’s nose striping was uniform in the area where Leana fell.

The defense claimed that Leana’s fall was caused by dizziness from the concussion she had sustained in the car accident the day before.

She alleged sleep apnea from the crash.

Leana claimed past medical expenses of about $28,000 and future medical expenses of about $58,000. She also sought damages for pain and suffering.

Ernie sought damages for loss of consortium.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a personal injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this slip and fall lawsuit and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Leana was taken via ambulance to a hospital, where she was diagnosed with fractures to her facial bones, a sprained left wrist and post-concussion syndrome.

Facts:

On Jan. 22, 2006, plaintiff Natasha Leana, 77, a retired otolaryngologist, was looking for her seat in the darkened second tier at a San Francisco Symphony facility. She tripped, pitched forward, and fell, tumbling down several steps and landing on her face.

Her husband, plaintiff Ernie Leana, 77, a retired family physician, was present at the time.

The day before her fall at the symphony, Leana was in a car accident in which she sustained a mild concussion and soft-tissue injuries to her neck and shoulder.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this slip and fall case could just as easily occur at any of the supermarkets in the area, such as Safeway, Raley’s, Bel Air, Save Mart, Walmart, or Whole Foods.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

SUMMARY JUDGMENT IS APPROPRATE ON THE LOSS OF CONSORTIUM CLAIM BECAUSE PAMELA WHITE CANNOT ESTABLISH HER CAUSES OF ACTION

A spouse has a derivative cause of action for loss of consortium caused by a negligent or intentional injury to their spouse by a third party. Rodriguez v. Bethlehem Street Corp. (1974) 12 Cal.3d 382,408. However, a spouse does not have a cause of action for loss of consortium when their spouse has no cause of action in tort. Blain v. Doctor’s Co. (1990) 222 Cal.App.3d 1048, 1067. As discussed above, plaintiff Pamela White cannot establish her causes of action for Negligence and Premises Liability. Therefore, summary judgment should be granted on Kenneth White’s Loss of Consortium claim.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

CONCLUSION
Based on the foregoing, there is no triable issue of material fact, and defendant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Plaintiff Pamela White cannot establish one or more of the elements of her Negligence or Premises Liability causes of action.

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It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this slip and fall case could just as easily occur at any of the supermarkets in the area, such as Safeway, Raley’s, Bel Air, Save Mart, Walmart, or Whole Foods.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

Because the owner is not the insurer of the visitor’s personal safety, the owner’s actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition is a key to establishing its liability. Moore, supra, 111 Cal.App.4 at 476. In the absence of actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition, the owner is not liable. Ibid. Moreover, where plaintiff relies on the failure to correct a dangerous condition to prove the owner’s negligence, the plaintiff has the burden of proof of showing the owner had notice of the defect in sufficient time to correct it. Ibid.

Plaintiff has not and cannot produce any evidence to establish that Safeway Inc. had actual or constructive notice of the alleged dangerous condition on the floor prior to plaintiff’s fall. Plaintiff concedes that she has no information as to how long the substance had been Memorandum of Points and Authorities In Suort of Defendant Safeway Inc.’s Motion for Summary Judgment present on the floor prior to her fall or how it came to be on the floor.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this slip and fall case could just as easily occur at any of the supermarkets in the area, such as Safeway, Raley’s, Bel Air, Save Mart, Walmart, or Whole Foods.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

Actionable negligence requires a showing that the defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty, the defendant breached the duty, and the breach was the proximate or legal cause of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff. Pamela W. v. Millson (1994) 25 Cal.App.4th 950, 956. Although a store owner is not an insurer of the safety of its patrons, the owner does owe the patrons a duty to exercise reasonable care in keeping the premises reasonably safe. Moore v. Walmart (2003) 111 Cal.App.4th 72,476. A store satisfies its duty of care by making reasonable inspections of the portions of the premises open to customers. Ibid; Adams v. Dow Hotel (1938) 25 Cal.App.2d 51.

An owner or occupier of land is not liable for injury resulting from a dangerous condition that it had no knowledge of unless the condition had existed for such a length of time that, had the owner or occupier exercised reasonable care in inspecting the premises, it would have discovered the condition in time to remedy or warn, prior to the injury. Id. Evidence that a dangerous condition existed only a short period of time before a fall is insufficient, as a matter of law, to establish that Defendant had constructive notice of the dangerous condition. Perez v. Ow, supra; Givertz v. Boy’s Market, Inc. (1949) 91 Cal.App.2d 827.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this slip and fall case could just as easily occur at any of the supermarkets in the area, such as Safeway, Raley’s, Bel Air, Save Mart, Walmart, or Whole Foods.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

THIS COURT SHOULD GRANT SUMMARY JUDGMENT BECAUSE PLAINTIFF CANNOT ESTABLISH THAT DEFENDANT BREACHED ITS DUTY OF CARE AND/OR THAT DEFENDANT HAD ACTUAL OR CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF A DANGEROUS CONDITION.

It is well established under California law that an owner or occupier of land is not strictly liable for injuries occurring on its premises, and is not an insurer of the safety of persons on its premises. (Witkin, Summary of California Law (9th Ed.) Tort 927.) An owner of property has a duty to exercise ordinary care to maintain the property to avoid exposing others to an unreasonable risk of harm. BAJI 8.01; Rowland v. Christian (1968) 69 Cal.2d 108.

Plaintiff must establish the elements of duty, breach of that duty, causation, and damages in order to recover damages under causes of action for negligence and/or premises liability (Restatement 2nd of Torts at 281; Brooks v. Eugene Burger Management Corp. (1989) 215 Cal.App.3d 1611,1619).

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this slip and fall case could just as easily occur at any of the supermarkets in the area, such as Safeway, Raley’s, Bel Air, Save Mart, Walmart, or Whole Foods.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

LEGAL ARGUMENT
SUMMARY JUDGMENT IS PROPER WHERE THERE IS NO TRIABLE ISSUE OF MATERIAL FACT

Code of Civil Procedure section 437c (c) states that a Motion for Summary Judgment shall be granted if all the papers submitted show that there is no triable issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.

The court’s power is not discretionary, but rather mandatory. The purpose for mandatory award of summary judgment is:

to help clear the court’s of an overload of repetitious suits when it appears that no factual issue exists… or that one side or the other is wholly without right. Kaiser Foundation Hospital v. Superior Court (1967) 254 Cal.App. 2d 327, citing Dryer v. Dryer (1964) 231Cal.App.2d 441, 449.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

A motion for summary judgment is properly granted where there is no triable issue of fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Code of Civ. Proc. §437c, subd. (c). A defendant meets his burden on a motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication if that party proves that one or more elements of the cause of action cannot be established, or there is a complete defense. Code of Civ. Proc. §437c, subds. (f)(1) and (o)(l),(2).

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It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this slip and fall case could just as easily occur at any of the supermarkets in the area, such as Safeway, Raley’s, Bel Air, Save Mart, Walmart, or Whole Foods.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

Maintenance and Inspection of the Floor

At the time of the incident, Safeway had in place procedures to inspect and maintain the floors. Safeway assigned a courtesy clerk to clean and inspect the floors at least once every hour. Courtesy clerks were responsible for documenting that they were conducting their sweep activities by “punching” the Sweep Log, sliding their employee time card through the time clock, pressing a button designating a sweep. In addition, as set forth in the Declaration of Safeway store manager, David Hall, employees are trained to clean up anything they observe on the floor, management continuously walks the store to monitor the condition of the floors, and an outside maintenance crew maintains the floors each night.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Safeway courtesy clerk Herbert Lee was assigned to inspect and sweep the floors between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., on March 24, 2009. As set forth in the Declaration of Mr. Lee, during his sweep hour, he sweeps and inspects the entire store, and then punches the Sweep Log immediately after completing his inspection. Mr. Lee punches the Sweep Log only after he completes an entire sweep of the floors to indicate that the floors were clean and dry at that time.

Continue reading

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this slip and fall case could just as easily occur at any of the supermarkets in the area, such as Safeway, Raley’s, Bel Air, Save Mart, Walmart, or Whole Foods.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

STATEMENT OF FACTS cont.

Plaintiff believes that she slipped and fell in a liquid substance because she claims that the seat of her pants felt wet on one side after the fall. However, plaintiff did not observe any liquid on the floor either before or after the fall. (Deposition of Pamela White, pages 85:23-86:1; 101:11-102:5; 109:1-21; 184:16-21.) Plaintiff concedes that she has no information as to how long the substance she claims she fell is was on the floor prior to her fall or how it came to be on the floor. (Deposition of Pamela White, pages 130:5-131:16; SSF, Fact No. 3).

After the fall, a paramedic pointed out what appeared to plaintiff to be a small piece of ham or turkey on the floor. (Deposition of Pamela White, pages 109:9-111:1.) Plaintiff concedes that she has no information as to how that piece of ham got onto the floor or whether it came from the sandwich she was carrying, and does not know how long it had been on the floor. (Deposition of Pamela White, pages 130:13-25.)

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Continue reading

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this slip and fall case could just as easily occur at any of the supermarkets in the area, such as Safeway, Raley’s, Bel Air, Save Mart, Walmart, or Whole Foods.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)

STATEMENT OF FACTS

On May 3, 2009, plaintiffs Pamela White and Kenneth White filed their Complaint alleging causes of action for Negligence, Premises Liability and Loss of Consortium. Specifically, plaintiffs allege that Pamela White slipped and fell in liquid of the floor and injured her right elbow, and that Safeway failed to exercise reasonable care in maintaining the store premises.

Plaintiff’s Fall

On March 24, 2009, plaintiff Pamela White went to the Sacramento Safeway to purchase lunch for her son. Plaintiff arrived at the store between 8:20 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., and went to the deli department to get a ham sandwich. After leaving the deli department, she then walked to the back of the store and turned right down the back, main aisle of the store toward the dairy department to get yogurt. (Deposition of Pamela White, pages 74:9-22, 75:7-18, 76:7-20, 77:4-5; 121:20-122:9.) Plaintiff testified that she fell while walking in the dairy department between 8:40 and 8:45 a.m. At the time of the fall, plaintiff was carrying a ham sandwich, a bag of chips, and a bottle of water. She did not see anything on the floor in the area where she fell prior to her fall.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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