Recently, the Court of Appeals of Georgia reversed a lower court’s decision that had granted summary judgment to a grocery store in a slip-and-fall case. According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was shopping in the grocery store when she slipped in a puddle of liquid that was dripping from a package of meat. The plaintiff subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the grocery store, alleging that they failed to maintain the premises, and that failure resulted in her injury.
The grocery store moved for summary judgment, arguing that it did not have any actual knowledge of the hazardous condition. The store provided an inspection sheet that showed that the area was inspected about 40 minutes prior to the fall. Furthermore, the store provided the security tape, which showed the plaintiff walking around the area two times before falling. In its motion for summary judgment, the store argued that it appropriately inspected the area, and the plaintiff actually had better knowledge of the spill because she walked by it several times.
The trial court granted summary judgment in the grocery store’s favor. The plaintiff appealed and solely argued that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment because the defendant did not establish that it carried out a “reasonable” inspection on the day the fall occurred. The appellate court held that in order to overcome a summary judgment motion, a plaintiff must clearly show that the grocery store had constructive knowledge, which can be inferred from a lack of appropriate or reasonable inspection procedures. The court also explained that although there is no bright-line rule, grocery stores should have more frequent inspections. Ultimately, the court found that these sorts of cases turn on whether the store’s inspection procedure was reasonable, and this determination should be made by a jury. Thus, summary judgement was not appropriate.
New Mexico Premises Liability Claims After Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Although the most common type of premises liability claim is a slip-and-fall case, this area of the law covers a wide and varied range of accidents that occur at public venues, private homes, and businesses.
Premises liability laws impose duties on individuals or organizations that own or are in possession of property. The most important duty is that the area is kept safe for visitors, guests, and those who are using the area. Often, these accidents occur because the owner or manager of the premises did not take the proper care and failed to ensure visitors were safe. If this occurs, it is possible that the property owner can be held liable for the injuries that the victim suffered.
Premises liability cases can be complex in some situations because companies are very reluctant to admit wrongdoing and often have a team of lawyers assisting them. A dedicated and zealous New Mexico personal injury lawyer can assist victims in seeking the compensation they deserve.
Have You Been Injured in a New Mexico Slip-and-Fall Accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip-and-fall accident or another accident at another party’s business or home, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the damages you sustained. The attorneys at the Fine Law Firm have decades of experience handling all types of personal injury claims and can assist you in seeking the compensation you deserve. Contact one of the attorneys at the Fine Law Firm today at 800-640-6590 for your free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
State Supreme Court Rules in Favor of School in Slip-and-Fall Case, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, March 7, 2017.
State Appeals Court Finds Signed Arbitration Agreement Invalid and Reverses Lower Court’s Order, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, March 28, 2017.