Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Summary Judgment Granted in Monroe County Slip and Fall Case

In her recent Decision in Paybon v. Miggy’s Corp Five, PICS Case No. 12-1228 (C.P. Monroe Co., April 3, 2012, Harlacher Sibum, J.),  Judge Jennifer Harlacher Sibum of the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas granted summary judgment in favor of a Defendant possessor of land in a slip and fall case involving a puddle of water near an ice machine in a grocery store.  

According to a report on this case, Plaintiff entered the Defendant’s grocery store to shop.   After about 15 minutes in the store, the Plaintiff slipped and fell on water that was located approximately 12 feet from an ice machine.  

Apparently, during discovery, the Plaintiff admitted that she did not know what caused the water to be on the floor or how long it was there before she fell.   It was also reported that a store employee did not seem to know how the water became to be on the floor.  

Although the Plaintiff alleged that the water could have come from the nearby ice machine, the court observed that this was mere speculation.   The Court also reiterated that the Plaintiff did not know what caused the water to come on the floor and there was no evidence for a jury to determine the cause of the water on the floor.  

It was also noted that the Plaintiff did not establish any actual or constructive notice on the part of the Defendant that there was a puddle on the floor.  Judge Harlacher Sibum also stated that notice could not be inferred by the mere fact that an employee was allegedly in close proximity to the allegedly hazardous condition at the time of the incident.  

Accordingly, given the absence of any evidence that the Defendant caused the water to come on the floor or had notice of its presence, there is no issue to be submitted to a jury and summary judgment was granted.  

Anyone desiring a copy of this case may contact the Pennsylvania Law Weekly Instant Case Service by calling 1-800-275-7427 and paying a small fee.  

Source:  "Case Digests" Pennsylvania Law Weekly (2012).

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