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Injured While Food Shopping: A Look at Supermarket Falls in Florida

Grocery shopping is something most of us do on a weekly basis. In fact, studies show the average American will travel to the supermarket 1.7 times per week. The grocery store is a bustling place, with an average of 42,000 items on store shelves, often 50 plus employees, and many consumers rushing to fill their carts. In the midst of all this activity, falls sometimes happen. Supermarket falls have garnered national attention due to a few high profile slips.

There are two central causes of a supermarket fall: slipping or tripping. Shoppers often slip on slippery surfaces in the store, such as spilled liquid or fallen fruits that then become slippery. Trips can occur from uneven surfaces or misplaced items in the grocery store, such as mats not rolled out correctly or ill placed magazine racks.

In Florida, our Miami personal injury lawyers know that those who slip and fall in a supermarket may be able to seek compensation from the store owner for their damages stemming from the accident under premises liability law. In 2010, Florida reformed its premises liability laws, now requiring that slip and fall plaintiffs prove the store owner, or an employee, had actual or constructive knowledge of a dangerous condition and failed to remedy it. For instance, in a case involving a customer slipping on a discarded grape, the court will look to how long the grape was present (as evidenced by its coloring and cleanliness), whether employees passed through the area, and if any complaints were made as to spilled fruit, among many other factors.

Publix is the most popular grocery chain in Florida, and has been home to a number of slip and fall injuries. The following is a look at some actual cases resulting in favorable outcomes for slip and fall plaintiffs against Publix:

$47,500 Settlement–the 2011 case involved a middle aged woman who slipped and fell in a Broward County Publix. She slid on water in the frozen foods section, leading to multiple bulging discs in the neck and lower back. Publix admitted liability.

$250,587 Verdict–in 2006, a woman slipped and fell in the checkout line in a Palm Beach County Publix. She argued that the employees had allowed water that spilled from a flower display near the checkout to remain for an unreasonable period of time, and did not warn customers of its existence. The customer suffered a knee fracture and considerable medical bills. Premises liability law has since been amended and become more difficult, so the plaintiff in this case may not have obtained the same result today.

$400,000 Settlement–in this 2008 trip and fall case, a man in Lee County broke his humerous, or upper arm bone, when he tripped and fell over a bike rack while walking out of Publix. This large settlement was exceptional for a humerous injury.

$96,000 Verdict–in this case, a female shopper in Miami fractured her hip when she tripped over a stocking cart in Publix. She had walked into the produce section to gather an item from the refrigerator when she tripped and fell over the cart used to carry items throughout the store.

Confidential settlement – A 72 year old women slipped and fell at an Aventura market. Dirty water had accumulated in the area in front of the deli counter becase the mat which was for the use of employees exiting the seafood area was missing. The employees who were coming from the seafood area had wet shoes as a result of their cleaing the back floor with a hose before the fall. The client sustained a fractured shoulder which required surgery.

Greenberg Stone and Urbano: South Florida’s Preeminent Slip and Fall Attorneys

Injuries can forever alter lives. As such, you should not have to face the consequences of a major accident alone. As you learn more about Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, for over 120 collective years, we have championed the cause of slip and fall victims across South Florida. Our commitment to client recovery has earned an “AV” rating from Martindale Hubbell, and it is why we have been asked to join Primerus, an international society of leading law firms. Moreover, the Miami Herald voted us as one of the top-rated South Florida law firm, and, we have earned the title of “Superlawyers,” designating us as being among the best lawyers in America. We want to put this dedication to work for you, so call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule an initial consultation.

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