Big and Small Stores Liable for Patron Falls

Minimizing the Risk of Slip and Fall AccidentsEarlier this summer, a woman sued the Kmart Corporation for negligence. After a painful trip, the woman said the store failed to take appropriate safety measures to prevent her from falling. Sharon Humphreys filed the complaint on May 24, alleging that she was seriously injured at a Charleston Kmart when she slipped and fell on a piece of loose metal in the floor.

Humphreys said the slip and fall incident caused physical and emotional pain along with extensive medical bills. Because the piece of loose metal was left on the floor, she is holding Kmart responsible for failing to examine the property for unsafe conditions and correct the condition before her incident. Humphreys also claimed the loose piece of metal was a similar shade as the floor itself, which is why she didn’t see the danger that laid ahead of her. Now, she is seeking compensation to cope with her unfortunate experience.

Cost of Liability

While this case hasn’t been closed, it shines light on an important legal responsibility that all business and store owners hold called premises liability. Premises liability means that property owners or residents are held accountable to maintaining a relatively safe environment. Just as a homeowner would be liable for a delivery person’s medical bills if a fall occurred from spilled oil in their driveway, store owners are responsible for keeping floors free of debris that may lead to a harmful accident.

Back in 2008, a man named Craig Walters slipped and fell on a piece of smashed fruit at a Kroger Grocery Store. The man was awarded $2.3 million in damages after the judge found the chain had destroyed video evidence of the incident.

A big-brand store might be able to afford high legal costs, but most small business owners lack mountains of cash to pay off injured party damages. Keeping customers safe is not just a moral must-do, but a necessary liability that could leave irresponsible owners deep in debt. If you run a small business, a lawsuit like this could lead to you losing your livelihood.

Eagle Mat offers many floor coverings ideal for retail spaces, each in a wide array of colors to match the existing décor of your store. For information on sizing and product specifics, contact our customer service team directly at 877-333-1018.