Publix Faces Personal Injury Lawsuit
A Publix shopper has filed a lawsuit against the supermarket store, alleging that its negligence led to her personal injuries. According to the complaint filed May 23 in Orange County Circuit Court, a woman fell on February 11, 2016 while shopping in a Publix store on Landstar Boulevard in Orlando.
According to the complaint, the woman fell after slipping on a substance on the floor. She alleges as a cause of action that Publix did not exercise reasonable care in how it maintained its premises. As a result, she suffered severe bodily injury, pain, disability, and mental anguish. The woman is suing for more than $15,000 in damages, plus interest, attorneys’ fees, and court costs.
Owner Liability for Slip and Falls
To succeed in her lawsuit, the plaintiff will need to convince a jury or court that Publix was negligent in how it maintained its properties. The key to negligence is to show that the defendant owed the injured victim a duty of reasonable care and that its actions or inactions fell below that standard.
Seeing as the woman was a customer, the Publix store certainly owes her a duty of care. However, the case will probably turn on whether the store was sufficiently careful in responding to the foreign substance that she slipped on.
Florida statute 768.0755 states that a business owner is liable for personal injuries caused by a foreign substance only if they had actual or constructive knowledge of the substance on the floor. The statute further defines constructive knowledge as meaning:
- The dangerous condition existed for so long that a business being ordinarily careful would have discovered it. For example, something on the floor for five or six hours should be discovered by store staff.
- The condition existed regularly and, as a result, the business should have foreseen it. For example, if condensation daily collected on the floor, the business should have been aware of it and taken action.
Without additional information, it is difficult to anticipate whether the woman will be successful in her suit against Publix.
Documenting the Hazard
The key in slip and fall cases is to adequately document the hazard that made you trip or slip. For example, if water was on the floor, it will surely evaporate before your lawyer can get to the scene of the accident to take a picture. For that reason, injured victims should try as best they can to document the hazard:
- Take a picture with your smartphone or ask a bystander to
- Get the names of any witnesses who saw the hazard
- Write down your own memories as soon as possible
Your health is obviously most important, but documenting a hazard as quickly as possible gives you the best chance of receiving compensation in a lawsuit.
Speak with an Experienced Slip and Fall Lawyer in Volusia County
At Bundza & Rodriguez in Daytona Beach, we have represented many clients injured after a slip and fall. Whether they fell in a business or on a private residence, they need compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. For more information about your legal options, please contact us today by calling 386-252-5170.