Friday, June 23, 2023

Summary Judgment Granted In Slip and Fall Case Where Plaintiff's Evidence Was Deficient

In the case of McClure v. Love’s Travel Stops, No. 1:21-CV-00334-YK (M.D. Pa. May 23, 2023 Kane, J.), the court granted the Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment in a slip and fall case.

According to the Opinion, a tractor trailer driver pulled his vehicle into the parking lot of a Love’s store to purchase fuel and food. It was not raining at the time.

The Plaintiff entered and exited the store without any problem before the incident. He confirmed that he did not see any type of liquid on the ground where he fell while entering and exiting the store.

After fueling his tractor trailer, the Plaintiff retrieved an empty cup from his truck and returned to the store. Using the same entrance that he had previously used to enter and exit the store, the Plaintiff entered the store and fell.

In this Motion for Summary Judgment, the Defendant asserted that the Plaintiff admitted during his testimony that he did not know what caused him to fall.

The Plaintiff argued that he only did not know the identity of the particular substance that caused him to fall. The Plaintiff maintained that the store manager wiped up a black, foreign substance from the store near the store’s diesel entrance, which was an area away from the area where he fell.

According to his deposition testimony, after he fell, the Plaintiff felt around on the floor with his hands but did not recall seeing anything in the area where he fell. The Plaintiff also testified that he went to the bathroom after he fell and that, when he returned to the location of his fall, he did not recall seeing anything there on the floor.

The store manager also testified that he examined the area where the Plaintiff allegedly fell and found that the floor was not slippery in this location. The store manager also denied cleaning up any black substance off any part of the floor.

The court also noted that the Plaintiff did not have any information or facts to offer in terms to how long any alleged slippery substance was on the floor in the area where he fell prior to the accident or how long the area was allegedly slippery.

Judge Kane reviewed the law of Pennsylvania regarding actual and constructive notice of an allegedly dangerous condition existing on a Defendant’s premises. After reviewing that law in detailed fashion, the court concluded that the Plaintiff failed to produce sufficient evidence of any actual or constructive notice on the part of the Defendant of any allegedly dangerous condition that caused the Plaintiff to fall.

In the end, the court granted summary judgment.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

I send thanks to Attorney Patrick J. Murphy of the Scranton office of the BBC Law, LLP for bringing this case to my attention.

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