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Court Discusses Establishing Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents Under New York law

Slip and fall accidents happen with regularity in superstores, and in most instances, they are caused by liquid or other slippery substances that have spilled onto the ground. Store owners have an obligation under the law to maintain their premises in a safe condition, and they can be held accountable for the harm that arises out of slip and fall incidents. As explained in a recent ruling issued by a New York court, however, a store owner will only be deemed liable if the injured party can show that the owner knew or should have known of the presence of the condition that caused the fall. If you suffered injuries in a fall that happened while you were shopping, it is smart to talk to a Syracuse personal injury lawyer to evaluate whether you may be able to recover compensation in a civil lawsuit.

The Facts of the Case

Reportedly, the plaintiff was shopping at the defendant’s superstore in March 2020 when he slipped and fell in a puddle of pasta sauce in one of the store’s aisles. The sauce had not yet congealed but was still liquid at the time of the fall, and both the floor and the sauce were white. The plaintiff did not notice the sauce before he fell, and he reported that other than the puddle, the floor was clean.

It is alleged that the plaintiff filed a premises liability lawsuit against the defendant, alleging its negligent failure to maintain the store in a safe condition caused the plaintiff’s fall and subsequent injuries. The defendant moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the plaintiff failed to show that the defendant had actual or constructive notice of the spill prior to the plaintiff’s fall.

Establishing Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents Under New York law

The court agreed with the defendants’ assertions and granted its motion to dismiss. The court explained that in order to establish negligence under New York law, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty, a breach of the duty owed, and harm proximately caused by the breach.

Further, to establish that a store owner breached the duty to provide a safe shopping environment for its customers, a plaintiff needs to establish that the plaintiff suffered injuries due to an accident caused by a defective or dangerous condition on the premises and that the defendant either created the condition or knew or should have known of its existence. In the subject case, the court found that the plaintiff failed to meet his burden of proof with regard to the defendant’s notice of the spill. Thus, the court granted the defendant’s motion.

Meet with an Experienced Syracuse Personal Injury Attorney

People should be able to shop without fear of sustaining injuries, but some store owners allow dangerous conditions to remain on their properties, and they eventually cause harmful accidents. If you were hurt in a slip and fall accident in a store, you have the right to pursue premises liability claims against the store owner, and you should meet with an attorney. The experienced Syracuse personal injury attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers can assess the facts of your case and gather any evidence that will help you demonstrate the store owner’s liability. You can reach us by calling 833-200-2000 or by using our form online to set up a meeting.

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