Woman claims store was negligent in accident that led to fracture and a herniated disc
A New Jersey woman has filed a lawsuit against retailer Home Depot after she slipped and fell at a store in suburban Philadelphia, according to the Pennsylvania Record. The woman slipped on a puddle of water and sustained a number of injuries, including a cracked pelvis, a herniated disc, and general neck and back pain.
Occurred during rainy weather
The incident occurred on September 8, 2012 when the woman was dropped off by her husband at the entrance of a Home Depot in Clifton Heights. Because it was raining that day, pools of water had collected around the entrance. The complainant slipped on a pool of standing water soon after exiting the vehicle.
The plaintiff claims that the injuries she suffered as a result of the accident not only led to significant pain and suffering, but also to large bills for extensive medical treatment and testing. She says that because she was unable to work due to her injuries she also suffered from a loss of income.
Store may be held liable
While at first glance it may sound unfair to hold the store liable for slippery floors during a heavy rainstorm; however, the plaintiff points to a number of factors that suggest Home Depot employees may not have done enough to make the premises safe for customers. According to the plaintiff, the employees were on notice about the rainy weather, but they did nothing to solve the problem of water collecting at the entrance of the store.
Only after the accident occurred, says the woman, did employees mop up the floor, put down mats, and place warning signs around the area of the accident. The lawsuit also points out that since the Home Depot store sells the very products that could have prevented this accident from happening, such as mops and mats, that the store had no excuse not to make the premises safer than they were on the day of the incident.
Furthermore, the floor in question is alleged to have been made of a composite material that became dangerously slippery when wet.
None of the allegations have yet been proven in court. The plaintiff is seeking in excess of $150,000 in damages.
As this case shows, businesses have a responsibility to make their properties as safe as possible for customers. Although businesses may not be able to control the weather, they can take other steps to mitigate any threat to customers that such weather may pose. While the above case focuses mainly on the danger posed by standing water, premise liability cases can include other factors as well, such as poor lighting, uneven floors, ice buildup, and improperly maintained stairwells.
Any person injured because of possible negligence of a property owner should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Because personal injury cases can lead to loss of income and expensive medical bills, injured parties should make sure that negligent property owners are held accountable for their actions. A personal injury lawyer can properly advise an injured client about what legal remedies may be available and whether compensation can be sought.