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Plaintiff was a business invitee at the shopping center and contends rebar that is exposed towards upper area of concrete wheelstop in parking lot causes trip and fall – Defendant maintains that friend backed pick-up truck over wheelstop and that plaintiff tripped over trailer hitch attached to rear of pick-up truck – Liability only.

Pinellas County, FL

In this bifurcated case, the plaintiff in her late 50s contended that the defendant shopping center negligently failed to properly inspect and maintain the wheelstops in the parking lot. The plaintiff asserted that exposed rebar towards the top of the wheelstop constituted a tripping hazard, resulting in her falling over the rebar. The plaintiff’s friend supported the plaintiff’s version.

The defendant elicited testimony from plaintiff’s friend that he had backed his pick-up truck over the wheelstop in question, and the defendant asserted that the plaintiff probably tripped and fell over the pick-up truck’s trailer hitch. The plaintiff claimed that the pickup truck was only partially covering the wheelstop, that rebar was nonetheless exposed, causing the trip and fall.

The plaintiff’s construction expert testified that the exposed rebar violated the ASTM standards and general maintenance guidelines.

The defendant’s construction expert testified that the subject parking lot complied will building codes and industry standards.The jury deliberated for 5 minutes before rendering a defense verdict.

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