Slip and fall cases are hard to win. It doesn’t seem fair, but the law puts a sometime impossible burden on the victim’s back. You must prove that the premises owner knew or should have known of the hazard that caused your injuries.

How do you prove “knew or should have known”?

An interesting case out of Brownsville just came down the pike. “The plaintiff, a licensed vocational nurse, slipped and fell on a puddle of child’s vomit while shopping a Wal-Mart in Brownsville. The plaintiff claimed and proved that Wal-Mart had actual knowledge of the hazardous condition because it was located in front of a cashier.” The jury awarded the plaintiff $600,000. – holding that Wal-Mart was 90% negligent and the plaintiff was 10% negligent.

The serious question is whether the verdict and judgment will be upheld by the appellate courts. Normally you must have stronger proof of the actual knowledge of the premise owner. We shall see.

As a moral issue why shouldn’t the premises owner be held responsible for a dangerous condition which was plainly visible to one of its employees. They should have cleaned up the mess promptly or put barricades or warning signs around it until they could get it cleaned up.

What if one of your loved ones had been hurt as badly as the lady ( she had incurred over $100,000 in medical expenses for disk surgery and was still paying?)

I personally would like to extend congratulations to the local attorney in Brownsville who took and prosecuted this case. Incidentally that attorney risked a substantial amount of his money. He used an ergonomics/human resources expert from California to prove Wal-Mart was negligent. Experts cost Big Bucks.

Congratulations – first to the victim and secondly to her attorney, a real fighter.


Carl Waldman
Waldman Smallwood Law Firm P.C.

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