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DEFENDANT’S Premises Liability – Alleged slippery condition at restaurant – Slip and fall in mop water – Failure to warn - Lumbar disc herniation – Surgery recommended.

Broward County, FL

The plaintiff claimed that she was a customer at the defendant’s restaurant, when she slipped and fell in mop water, which was negligently left by one of the defendant’s employees. The plaintiff also contended that the defendant failed to warn of the dangerous condition. The defendant argued that it maintained the premises in a reasonable manner and was not negligent.

The plaintiff was a 57-year-old female who was a patron at the defendant’s, Golden Coral restaurant. She claimed that one of the defendant’s employees mopped the exterior walkway, and left excessive water, which caused the plaintiff to slip and fall. The plaintiff called a witness who testified that she had complained to the defendant about water on the outside walkway approximately ten to 15 minutes before the plaintiff’s fall. The plaintiff was diagnosed with a lumbar disc herniation, which she claimed was caused by the collapse. The plaintiff’s physician recommended future lumbar surgery.

The defendant argued that, if an employee mopped the outside area on a Sunday afternoon (the time of the fall), a spill must have occurred. The employee who mopped the area was not identified. The defendant argued that it acted reasonably in mopping a spill, hundreds of patrons had walked in and out of the restaurant without incident during the time in question, and the plaintiff could not prove negligence.

The defendant also argued that the plaintiff did not sustain a disc herniation as a result of the fall. The defendant’s medical expert opined that the plaintiff sustained, at most, sprain and strain injuries, which would have fully resolved within 90 days. The defense argued that the plaintiff was cleared to return to her employment as a nurse within several months of the fall; yet, she had not returned to work as of the date of trial.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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