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DEFENDANT’S Premises Liability – Fall Down – Claimed slip and fall on sauerkraut in COSTCO store – Meniscus tear – Arthroscopic knee surgery performed.

Palm Beach County, FL

The plaintiff was a 46-year-old woman who was walking in the defendant’s COSTCO Wholesale Store, when she claimed she slipped and fell as a result of sauerkraut on the floor. The defendant denied that it was negligent in maintaining the floor and denied that the plaintiff’s fall was caused by sauerkraut, or any other foreign substance, on the floor.

The plaintiff testified that she was walking in the defendant’s store adjacent to the food court on April 2, ________, when she stepped in sauerkraut and fell onto her knee. The plaintiff described a three-to-four-inch long waxy gray strip of sauerkraut that she claimed appeared as if it had been left on the floor for some time.

The plaintiff also called a witness, who was seated at a table in the defendant’s food court at the time of the fall. The witness testified that he observed sauerkraut on the floor where the fall occurred. Evidence showed that sauerkraut was sold in small plastic cups in the defendant’s food court.

The plaintiff’s orthopedic surgeon testified that the plaintiff sustained a meniscus tear of her right knee as a result of the fall. The plaintiff underwent arthroscopic knee surgery.

The defendant’s employee testified that there was no sauerkraut, or other foreign substance, on the floor at the time of the plaintiff’s fall. The employee testified that an acrylic nail was pulled from the bottom of the plaintiff’s flip-flop after the fall. A photograph showed the employee holding the nail in a napkin. Another photograph showed the plaintiff putting ice on her ankle after the fall, with another acrylic nail visibly stuck in the bottom of her flip-flop.

The defendant’s orthopedic surgeon opined that the plaintiff’s right knee condition was degenerative in nature and not causally related to trauma.The jury found no negligence on the part of the defendant which was a legal cause of injury to the plaintiff. The defendant waived attorney fees and costs. The plaintiff waived post-trial motions or an appeal.

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