Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Summary Judgment Granted in Monroe County Slip and Fall Case

In his recent decision in the case of Zangenberg v. Weis Markets, Inc., PICS Case No. 15-1185 (C.P. Monroe Co. April 1, 2015 Higgins, J.), Judge Stephen M. Higgins of the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas granted Defendant Weis’ Motion for Summary Judgment in a slip and fall case.

According to a summary of the Opinion, the Plaintiff slipped and fell in the store due to alleged slippery conditions and/or a wax build up on the floor that amounted to an allegedly dangerous condition.

The Defendant store filed a Motion for Summary Judgment claiming that the Plaintiff failed to produce any evidence that the store had actual or constructive notice of the alleged condition.

The Court found that the Plaintiff did not produce any evidence that the application of wax on the floor created a dangerous condition that was so obvious as to amount of evidence which an inference of negligence would arise.

Rather, the Court noted that the Plaintiff only produced the testimony of her daughter who stated that there was a black skid mark on the floor.  However, the record also established that Plaintiff’s daughter was not present at the time the Plaintiff fell and could not identify the mark as coming from the Plaintiff’s shoe.  Further, the daughter did not further examine the floor.

Moreover, there was evidence in the record that a Weis employee testified that she was present when the Plaintiff fell and, after assisting the Plaintiff up, the employee looked at the area and did not see anything on the floor.

The facts of the case also confirm that the Plaintiff admitted that she did not remember looking at the ground prior to her fall. The Plaintiff had no evidence of any debris on the floor. Rather, the Plaintiff stated the floor was very slippery but that she did notice any water, oil, grease, or foreign substance on the floor immediately after her fall. Moreover, the Plaintiff did not notice anything on her hands, clothing, or her shoes which could have led her to conclusion of what caused her to fall.

Finding no actual or constructive notice established by the Plaintiff, the court granted the Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment in this slip and fall case.

If you wish to review this Opinion, you may contact the Instant Case Service at the Pennsylvania Law Weekly at 1-800-276-7427, provide the above PICS Case No., and pay and pay a small fee.

Source: "Digest of Recent Opinions," Pennsylvania Law Weekly (August 4, 2015).

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