Sunday, February 19, 2012

Summary Judgment Entered in Monroe County Single Grape Slip and Fall Case

In the case of Stagnito v. Weis Markets, Inc., PICS Case No. 12-0226 (C.P. Monroe Sept. 2, 2011 Harlacher Sibum, J.), Judge Jennifer Harlacher Sibum of the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas entered a summary judgment in favor of a Defendant grocery store in a slip and fall case where the Plaintiff alleged that she was caused to fall by a single grape on the floor.

In her Opinion, Judge Harlacher Sibum noted that the Plaintiff did not offer any evidence that the Defendant store had any actual notice of the grape or that the store had allegedly created the allegedly harmful condition.

The Court also ruled that the Plaintiff had not produced evidence to support a burden of showing that the Defendant store had constructive notice of the allegedly dangerous condition. According to the Opinion, the Plaintiff was unable to state how the grape came on the floor or how long it was there.

The store employees also testified that they did not see the grape and did not know where it came from or how long it had been on the floor. It was also noted that there was no testimony presented that any customers had previously complained about the grape before the Plaintiff’s allegedly incident.

Judge Harlacher Sibum also found that the Plaintiff did not establish that the Defendant store was negligent in failing to have a procedure in place to police the safety of the store, particularly where the Plaintiff did not establish that a reasonable inspection would have prevented the Plaintiff’s alleged injuries in any event. The Court found that this case was distinguishable from cases in which the Defendant did have procedures in place and had deviated from them.

In granting summary judgment in favor of the Defendant store, the Court held that “Plaintiffs cannot prove that defendant failed to exercise reasonable diligence in discovering this single grape, or that the grape had been permitted to remain on the floor for an unreasonably long period of time.”

I do not have a copy of this Decision but a copy can be purchased for a small fee from the Pennsylvania Law Weekly by calling 1-800-276-7487 and giving them the above PICS Case Number noted in the citation.

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions,” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (February 14, 2012).

Source of photoImage: Ambro /

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