Purse Catching

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Q: In a department store, I caught my foot on a purse that was lying on an aisle floor, and fell.  This was near a price checker: customers would often leave clothing hanging, or on shelves, nearby.  Maybe a customer had knocked it down.  I am sure that, now and then, a store employee makes a sweep of the floor to ensure that it is clear of merchandise, picking up whatever has fallen.  But that did not happen here.

One of my friends recalls that she has regularly visited the department, that customers place purses on the floor while rummaging through the sales bins, and that the purse department is in continual disarray.  Regardless of the time of her visits, the department always appears like it had not been cleaned.  There is always an assortment of purses lying on the floor, making it difficult to navigate.

An employee in the accessories department has said that she inspected the floor at 3:00 P.M. and that there was no merchandise on the floor at that time.  I fell no earlier than 3:15 P.M., and EMS was called at 3:48 P.M.

A: An occupant of property is required to maintain it in a reasonably safe condition.  Most likely, the store will contend that it had received no complaints about its premises or the condition of the floor in the area where you fell, so that it lacked notice of a dangerous condition.  Especially given the relatively short interval between the employee’s inspection and this accident, your attorney is likely to argue that the store was aware of an ongoing and recurring dangerous condition in the area of the accident – yet did not rectify the problem.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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