A Los Angeles County woman was recently awarded $415,000 in a slip and fall case. The woman was at a Costco store when she slipped on liquid soap that was not cleaned up by store employees. It is unclear where the soap came from but the woman's attorney believes that it likely spilled from a shopping cart.
Stores have an obligation to provide a safe shopping environment for customers. Although a store is not liable for every fall that happens on its property, there are many circumstances where a store's failure to clean a spill will result in liability. In the Costco case, the woman's attorney proved that the store was negligent in failing to clean up the spill and that this negligence was the proximate cause of his client's injury.
"I presented evidence that numerous Costco employees had walked by the area of the spill within minutes before (the woman) fell," the woman's attorney said. "They didn't stop and clean it up, as their policies and procedures require that they do."
The woman suffered severe personal injuries in the form of a shattered kneecap. She was awarded almost $90,000 for medical expenses and $325,000 for pain and suffering.
"She has a lifetime of partial loss of function and mobility and pain expected for the rest of her life," the woman's attorney said.
Source: Pasadena Star-News, "Covina woman awarded $415,000 following slip and fall at Industry Costco," March 7, 2012