Slip and Fall Case Goes to Trial Because Store Employee Knew of The Danger
It seems elementary that when we are injured on somebody else’s property, especially the property of a business, the property owner is liable for our injuries. That’s how it ought to work. Unfortunately, property owners are represented by insurance companies that are extremely reluctant to pay for the damages we suffer. Sometimes just getting the essential medical care necessary can be difficult.
In the insult to injury department, it seems that the bigger the company at fault happens to be, the more money they spend on lawyers to keep from paying their injured customers. It’s a sad fact in our society.
In the case of Bradley v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., 314 Ga. App. 556, (2012), a woman slipped and fell while shopping in a large chain grocery store. While a store employee was working just steps away, nobody came to assist the woman as she struggled to her feet. She reported the fall to the employee who was stocking a cooler who immediately rushed to call the store manager and report the accident.
Because the victim was scheduled to pick up her grandchild, she declined to be taken for medical help immediately, but did acknowledge that she was hurt. She said she would seek medical help later, and she did.
The woman later sued the company alleging that the store failed to keep the premises safe for their customers.
As the case came to trial, the court granted the grocery store’s motion for summary judgment – dismissing the case – because the woman’s testimony did not provide proof that the store knew of the danger. The woman appealed.
The appellate court discovered that the woman’s deposition and her testimony regarding the position in which the store employee near her was standing seemed to be contradictory. It was on this contradiction that the trial court based its summary judgment.
Ordinarily in summary judgment, the facts are to be viewed by the court in the light most favorable to party who has not moved for the judgment – in this case, the customer. Here, the trial court viewed the customer’s two inconsistent statements about the employee’s location at the time of the accident as grounds to discount the witnesses’ testimony. Thus the court dismissed the case.
The appellate court found that the summary judgment was inappropriate in that the court did not give the witness testimony the appropriate weight and viewed her testimony in favor of the store in error. The woman’s case was sent back for a jury to determine the outcome.
Georgia law tries very hard to keep the playing field level when ordinary individuals like you and I are injured through the negligence of others. The enlightened jury is usually the best judge of what caused the accident and who is at fault. It is probably for that reason that big insurance companies hope to slam the door on jury deliberations. This way they stand a better chance of saving money – even money that is rightfully due an innocent victim.
When you are injured because of somebody else’s careless behavior, you need a personal injury specialist to represent you. Those of us who work every day with personal injury cases are already aware of the lengths to which some insurance attorneys will go to protect their clients. We spend every day trying to wring your money from their hands.
As it happens, we’re very good at doing just that. At The Millar Law Firm, we only do personal injury cases. This gives us a keen edge in making our clients’ cases successful ones – we’ve earned an excellent reputation. Our expertise in this field is well known in the Atlanta area.
Allow us the opportunity to review the facts in your case. After we’ve evaluated your case, we’ll offer you our best advice as to how you might proceed. That advice is free. Good advice for free. That’s a great way to begin a relationship, we think.