Thursday, September 3, 2020

Case Dismissed Where Plaintiff Cannot Describe What Caused Her to Fall


In the case of Cramer v. Wal-Mart Stores East, LP, No. CP-31-CV-1538-2017 (C.P. Huntingdon Co. June 1, 2020 Zanic, J.), the court granted summary judgment in favor of the Defendant store in a trip and fall case where the Plaintiff was unable to describe what caused her to fall. 

According to the Opinion, the Plaintiff alleged that she was walking on the sidewalk in front of a Wal-Mart store when she slipped and fell. The Plaintiff alleged that the sidewalk was covered in debris consisting of mulch, chewing gum, and litter. The Plaintiff asserted that she must have been caused to fall by this debris. 

However, the court noted that, when pressed for more details as to the cause of her fall, the Plaintiff could not provide a description at her deposition of what she slipped on or how she slipped. 

Although the Plaintiff described the sidewalk as having “sticky stuff” on it, the Plaintiff did not claim that her foot stuck to or got caught on anything on the sidewalk. Rather, she simply stated that she slipped. 

The court pointed to the case of Cuthbert v. City of Philadelphia for the proposition that the Plaintiff must be able to describe the cause of a fall down event. Given that the Plaintiff was unable to describe the cause of her fall in this matter, the court granted the Defendant store summary judgment.
Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (August 11, 2020).

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