Late last month, the Nebraska State Supreme Court affirmed a lower court’s decision granting a grocery store summary judgment in a personal injury lawsuit brought by an injured patron. According to the opinion, a customer injured herself after she slipped on a piece of watermelon on the store’s floor.
Apparently, there were individuals in the grocery store providing watermelon samples at the time of the accident. The injured woman claimed that the store was negligent in several ways and that the store’s negligence resulted in her injuries. The grocery store moved for summary judgment and argued that they did not know of or create the dangerous condition. The lower court agreed with the defense and stated that although it was clear that watermelon samples were being distributed by the grocery store, that alone was insufficient to support a claim for negligence.
The plaintiff appealed this decision to the state supreme court. The plaintiff argued that the grocery store should have known that a customer may have dropped the watermelon. However, the court held that one could not reasonably conclude that the grocery store created the hazardous condition or even knew about it. The court found that, despite the plaintiff’s contentions, there was no proof that the grocery store had constructive knowledge of the dropped watermelon. In sum, the court held that since there was no evidence that substantiated a claim of constructive knowledge or the creation of a dangerous condition, the lawsuit should be dismissed.
New Mexico Personal Injury Lawsuits and Premises Liability Law
When individuals have been injured on another person’s property or on the location of a business, there are certain ramifications and liabilities that the business or property owner may face. The law that governs this area is known as premises liability, and this theory guides the rights and responsibilities of those injured on another party’s property.
Generally, if a person is injured on another person’s property, that property owner may be liable to the injured party. There are many nuances in the law, but generally in New Mexico those that are in ownership, control, or possession of an area must keep the premises safe for those who will be using or visiting the premises.
Some common situations in which a premises liability lawsuit may be pursued are situations when a person slips and falls, is injured in an elevator or a parking lot, or is exposed to a dangerous chemical on another person’s property.
These cases can be extremely complicated, and businesses have every incentive to try to thwart these types of claims. An attorney can assist you in developing a strong case.
Have You Been Injured on Another Person’s Property in New Mexico?
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed because of the negligence of another party, you should contact the attorneys at the Fine Law Firm. The attorneys at our office have many years of experience handling all aspects of premises liability cases and can zealously fight for your rights. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you suffered. Contact an attorney at the Fine Law Firm today at 800-640-6590 to schedule your free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
State Supreme Court Denies Governmental Immunity for Transportation Commission in Wrongful Death Claim, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 13, 2016.
State Supreme Court Finds Plaintiff Is Not Entitled to Relief Due to Recreational Use Statute, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, August 4, 2016.