Mirjana Lewis suffered personal injuries after tripping and falling on a mat placed in D’Agostino Supermarkets in New York. Ms. Lewis slipped and fell due to a flipped up corner of the floor mat while entering the second entrance door in the vestibule of the supermarket.
Testimony of one witness pointed out that the placement of the mat was dangerous because the place where the mat was located was too small. The mat, according to the witness, was located in the middle where the mat couldn’t go wall to wall and have a place to stop. The witness added that with all the traffic in the vestibule, especially during winter, people would walk in and cause the mat to create a bump, be folded over, or raise. The witness said she has lodged several complaints regarding this dangerous condition.
D’Agostino and IG Associates, the supermarket’s landlord, denied liability for the injuries. There was no evidence pointing that they had prior knowledge of the dangerous condition of the mat, or that they were aware that the corner of the mat had flipped up onto itself. There was also no evidence showing that the supermarket and its landlord created the dangerous condition.
The supermarket and its landlord need not know prior to the accident of the situation in the mat to be liable, according to a source. However, for them to be liable, they must have constructive notice of the dangerous condition. Constructive notice of a dangerous condition, the report explained, occurs when the defect or condition is be visible and apparent, and has existed for a sufficient length of time before the slip and fall accident to permit the supermarket’s employees to discover and remedy the condition.
Elemo Rodriguez, a store porter at the supermarket, said that defects in the mat occurred but did not state that these defects occurred with any regularity, consistency, or frequency for the supermarket to be generally aware that a dangerous condition may happen. The expert said the supermarket and its lessor had no obligation to station an employee in the vestibule just to make sure that the mat remains perfectly flat as each and every patron passes over it to avoid any accident.
The expert added that a general awareness that a dangerous condition may exist is insufficient to constitute notice of a particular condition causing an accident. The report explained that the “bunching” condition of the mat is different from the corner of the mat being three to three and a half inches high, “standing up on its own,” which caused the accident.
IG Associates, under its lease agreement with D’Agostino, was not liable for general maintenance defects, but only for structural failures. Although witnesses said the supermarket’s exit door was repeatedly in a state of repair, there was no evidence indicating that the mat served a structural or design function in the supermarket.
The trip and fall accident was unfortunate and could have been avoided if there was proper care and management. There are New York Personal Injury Lawyers that could help you when faced with legal situations caused by similar accidents.
Stephen Bilkis & Associates and its New York Injury Lawyers has offices around the New York Metropolitan area so you can visit them at your convenience. These Lawyers can provide you with advice to guide you in cases where an injury results from someone else’s negligence.
Stephen Bilkis, in addition to Injury Law, will recommend New York Trip and Fall Lawyers to help you.