Grocery Stores and the Duty of Care Owed to Customers

Every store owner in Hudson, New York must maintain the premises so that shoppers are not injured by dangerous conditions on the property.  The hazard must either be repaired or at least the shoppers must be warned of the danger.

Experienced Hudson slip and fall attorneys know that grocery store owners can be liable for a customer’s injury if the store was aware of the hazard and even if the store wasn’t aware, but should have been aware that there was a danger.  These are called premises liability cases.

In the most basic terms, grocery store owners must keep shoppers safe from foreseeable and preventable accidents and injuries.  Doing such is judged by a “reasonable person” standard.  Meaning, would a reasonable person faced with similar circumstances fix the danger or at least warn shoppers of the danger.  If yes, the grocery store could be held liable for the injuries suffered by a patron in a slip and fall accident. 

It makes little difference if the dangerous condition exists inside the store or if the danger is on the property outside.  So long as the grocery store knew or should have known about the danger, the store is responsible to cure or warn of the danger.  Timing, routine business practices, and governmental regulations can dictate what needs to be done and when liability can arise.

For example, imagine a sudden and violent summer thunderstorm.  Rain water will be tracked into the store both during and after the storm.  While the storm is under way, the grocery store might not be liable for slip and fall accidents that happen on the entry way floor.  This is because the store might not have had enough time to fix the problem.  On the other hand, if the storm ended hours earlier and a customer slipped on rain water in the entry way, liability can arise because the store may have had enough time to repair the hazard, or at least warn of the danger by placing a warning sign in the entry way. 

When grocery stores fail to keep shoppers safe from such preventable and foreseeable accidents, the grocery store can be liable for the slip and fall victim’s damages.  This means that any pain and suffering endured by the shopper is compensable, as are medical costs and lost wages, just to name a few compensable damages. 

In closing, even if you know that grocery stores commonly have wet floors, you never assume the risk of injury when visiting a market.  Also, it does not matter if you purchased something or returned an item, or if you went to the store just to browse.  Premises liability demands that grocery stores always maintain their property in a safe condition. 

The attorneys at Greenberg and Greenberg handle slip and fall cases throughout New York State, including Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, and Albany County.  Our legal team has earned a reputation for dedicated service to our clients injured in New York personal injury accidents.  Please contact us today to receive a free case evaluation by dialing locally to 518-828-3336 or call toll free at 877-469-9300.