The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the personal injury case of the plaintiff and requested the court to give summary judgment. The defendants claimed that the plaintiff was not successful in establishing the defendants’ alleged negligence. The plaintiff has opposed to the defendants’ motion for dismissal.
The plaintiff filed for a complaint against the defendants due to a trip and fall accident that happened in a local supermarket. According to the statements made by the plaintiff, she was in the supermarket when near the fresh vegetables aisle. The plaintiff was a regular customer of the supermarket. While shopping, she tripped and fell on the floor. Based on her testimony, the plaintiff identified the vegetable misting machine. The machine allegedly caused the fall because the water it sprayed had accumulated beyond the boundaries of the floor mat and spilled onto the floor. The plaintiff said that she slipped because of the water coming from the vegetable misting machine.
The court was tasked to determine if summary judgment can be granted to the defendants, which are also the representatives for the supermarket. The defendants will have to submit evidence that would prove the plaintiff wrong. The plaintiff has the burden of proof in order to have a material case against the defendant.
When requested for summary judgment, the duty of the court is to find evidence supporting summary judgment and determine whether issues are presented is material or not. According to the defendants, they should be granted a summary judgment since the plaintiff cannot prove that the defendants were guilty of creating the condition or defect of the supermarket.
The defendant cited the plaintiff’s statement before the trial and learned that the plaintiff had already walked past that particular aisle where she tripped. When the plaintiff was walking near the vegetable section, she decided that she forgot something and walked back to the area of the accident. According to the statement of the plaintiff, she did not remember seeing the wet floor mat when she walked past. The plaintiff asserted that her foot got stuck on the wet mat and caused her to fall down.
The defendants had challenged the existence of prior notice and said that they did not receive any complaints for that particular vegetable machine causing the wetness. A witness for the defendant, who was also the produce manager, testified that there were no complaints against the floor mat in question. He asserted that the vegetable machine does not get wet. He also did not see the floor mats bunched up.
The defendant also opposes the plaintiff’s claim that the bunching mats happen regularly. They pointed out that the plaintiff herself had not made any complaints about the mat or the vegetable machine prior to her accident so it couldn’t be concluded that the bunching of mats was a recurring condition.
The defendants also argue that in order for the plaintiff to establish that there was negligence, the plaintiff must first find evidence of the existing defect. According to the provisions of the law, the defendant is liable for damages if it is proven that defendant created the condition of the defect or had received prior notice of the accident. If there is no evidence concerning the defendants’ creation of the dangerous condition, the existence of a written notice should be established by the plaintiff. A written notice has merit if the defect is visible and has existed for a reasonable amount of time for the supermarket employees to see it.
Based on the evidence presented and the testimonies of both parties, the court determined that a summary judgment should be denied. The court also found that the plaintiff has raised and proven a critical issue thus summary judgment was denied. Both parties are scheduled to appear before trial court.
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