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DEFENDANT’S Premises Liability – Fall Down – Slip and fall in supermarket – Alleged failure to clean produce from floor – Meniscus tear with surgery.

Palm Beach County, FL

The plaintiff alleged that she was walking in the produce department of the defendant’s supermarket when she slipped and fell due to a green leaf on the floor. The defendant argued that there was nothing on the floor and that the plaintiff’s fall was caused by the defective high-heel shoes she was wearing.

The plaintiff testified that her foot slipped out from under her and she fell. After the fall, the plaintiff alleged that one of the defendant’s employees brought her attention to a leafy substance which had caused the fall. The plaintiff was diagnosed with a meniscus tear as a result of the fall. She underwent left knee surgery to repair the tear.

The defendant argued that it had a reasonable floor inspection and cleaning policy in place. The defendant called another customer who was walking behind the plaintiff when the plaintiff fell. The witness testified that there was nothing on the floor in the area of the fall. The defense also stressed that the plaintiff herself testified that she did not see anything on the floor when she inspected the floor immediately after the fall.

The defense argued that the plaintiff developed the belief that it must have been a leaf that caused her to slip and fall only after a store employee allegedly pointed out a single leaf approximately ten minutes after the fall. The store employee denied ever having seen or pointed out a leaf. There also was no leaf seen on the video which partially captured the slip/fall, according to defense arguments.

The defense contended that the plaintiff was wearing high-heeled shoes on which the heel had been worn down to metal, causing her fall. The plaintiff admitted that she had the rubber heel tips of the shoes replaced after the fall. The defense additionally argued that the plaintiff was an avid weightlifter and the MRI of her left knee showed degenerative changes in the medial meniscus which was consistent with her weight-lifting activity.The jury found no negligence on the part of the defendant which was a legal cause of injury to the plaintiff.

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