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Judge agrees with woman in sandwich slip and fall case

It may not be that difficult for people to understand the responsibility that property owners in New Haven have to ensure that their premises are safe for others to visit. At the same time, some may say that they cannot be expected to plan for every single possible hazard that may pop up on their properties. Ultimately, the duty they have to protect visitors may not involve anticipating dangers, but rather responding to them when they do occur, not matter how innocuous they may appear to be. 

Such was the opinion expressed by a judge hearing the premises liability case filed by a Delaware woman against a local convenience store chain. While many people may not see a discarded sandwich as being dangerous, this woman found out the hard way that it can be after she slipped and fell on its remnants in the parking lot of one of the franchise's locations. In response to her subsequent lawsuit, representatives of the store chain claimed that the woman's case was unfounded because she never consulted with an expert to see if it was a liability issue. She countered by saying that it is common sense that a store must maintain a safe parking lot. The presiding judge agreed, stating that a store should respond to hazards outside of its walls in the same manner it does inside of them. 

While many may view this as being a unique example, it may serve to illustrate the point the no matter the problem, a property owner has the responsibility to address it. Those attempting to make such an argument may want to work with an experienced attorney when doing so. 

Source: WDEL 1150AM "Woman's lawsuit over slip and fall on 'hoagie guts' at Wawa to move forward" Chase, Randall, Oct. 25, 2017

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