Brick-and-mortar businesses have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their guests. This means taking reasonable measures to maintain a safe location that is free of dangerous tripping and slipping hazards. Managers also play an important role in keeping the environment safe for guests, and tending to dangers in an efficient and timely manner. So, when a slip and fall accident occurs, are managers to blame?
A recent lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Broward Division, named a Walmart store manager in Fort Lauderdale as one of the defendants. The plaintiff, Robert Wilson, sued Walmart after he slipped and fell on a banana peel in the store. Walmart immediately responded by filing a motion to have the manager removed as a defendant. The manager in question, Chily Julien, said in a deposition that he was not aware that there was a banana peel on the floor. The court, however, denied the motion to have him removed from the case.
How Liable Are Managers?
If you are injured on another person’s property, you have a right to seek compensation for those injuries, especially if they were the result of negligence. Proving negligence, however, is complicated and often requires the services of an experienced and skilled slip and fall accident attorney.
In order to prove negligence, your attorney must establish that the company, property manager or store manager:
- Knew of the hazard and failed to take necessary action to ensure the safety of their guests
- Should have known about the hazard and taken steps to prevent injuries from occurring
- Created the dangerous condition that led to the injuries
To prove that the manager knew of the hazard, your lawyer will need to investigate the accident closely. Eyewitness accounts of seeing or hearing an employee or customer tell the store manager of the hazard would be invaluable to your case. Emails that address the hazard in question would also be extremely helpful.
When determining fault, several factors must be considered:
- How long did the dangerous condition exist?
- Did the manager have time to fix it?
- Did the manager try to fix it?
- Were the managers actions appropriate or reasonable?
- Did the victim in any way contribute to the accident?
Injured in a Florida Slip and Fall Accident?
At Sternberg / Forsythe, our West Palm Beach slip and fall accident attorneys understand that insurance companies don’t always play fair with slip and fall accident victims. That’s why we negotiate aggressively to help our clients pursue justice and the money they need to recover. With offices conveniently located in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, and Orlando, we are there wherever you need us. Call us at 561-687-5660 today for a free consultation and review of your case or fill out our confidential contact form and we’ll get right back to you.