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Routine inspections help grocery stores prevent slip and falls

Some Ohioans plan meals ahead and make the requisite grocery store trip a once-a-week event. Some people may stop in a few nights a week to pick up odds and ends. But either way, grocery stores are an inevitable part of most of our lives. As grocery stores usher shoppers in and out, it is important to remember that the store does have a certain duty toward its customers.

All major stores, like grocery stores, owe shoppers a duty of care to keep the premises free from unsafe or dangerous conditions. Stores can do this by conducting routine inspections of the shelves and aisles to ensure they are sturdy and free of spills.

One grocery store chain apparently did not do a great job of routine upkeep and is currently facing two different premises liability lawsuits. The lawsuits are related to two slip and fall cases that just happened to occur one right after the other.

The incidents occurred in at U.S. supermarket chain Winn Dixie. The first victim claims that a refrigerator or other type of cooler leaked water onto the floor causing her to slip and fall. She states in her lawsuit that she was seriously injured. She also claims that the grocery store was aware of the leaking water and failed to warn customers of the unsafe condition.

The very next day, another shopper at the same store says she slipped and fell on some liquid in the soda aisle. The woman claims that the grocery store failed to inspect the aisle, among other things, and that the lighting in the aisle was inadequate. Both victims are seeking an unspecified amount in damages. The damage requests include lost wages and earning capacity, pain and suffering and emotional damages, as well as medical costs.

In premises liability cases like this, the physical and mental damages sustained can be severe which is why a variety of damages may be available to injured victims. Victims can face exorbitant medical bills and lifelong disabilities thus preventing a steady income or enjoyment of life. When a property owner fails to uphold its duty to guests and customers and someone is hurt as a result, the injured party has a right to seek compensation for those damages.

Source: The Louisiana Daily Record, "Same Winn-Dixie sued twice in one day for slip and fall incidents," Sept. 19, 2013

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