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Attorney Sandra T. Carson Obtains Summary Judgment for Wholesaler in Slip and Fall case.

Feb 27, 2019 - About the Firm by

(February 27, 2019)  MSZL&M attorney Sandra T. Carson, of the firm’s Maryland office, obtain summary judgment for our client, a restaurant supply wholesaler, in Baltimore County, Maryland in a premises liability case involving notice and opportunity to correct a defective condition.

Plaintiff, age 72, was a frequent customer of the warehouse-style wholesale supply store.  On the date of the incident, she had been in the store for approximately 20 minutes, walking the aisles of the store pushing a U-boat cart.  She walked down an aisle in which she saw a pallet of goods sitting on the floor to one side and as she did so, her foot became “entangled” in a piece of string on the floor that was allegedly attached to the pallet.  She fell to the floor, striking her face and right thigh/hip, and allegedly also sustained injuries to both ankles and heels and permanent injury to her back.

At the close of discovery, Ms. Carson, a member of our Premises Liability Practice Group, moved for summary judgment on the grounds that plaintiff had failed to come forward with any evidence that our client caused the string to be in the aisle or that it knew or should have known about the presence of the string prior to the plaintiff’s fall.  The motion also argued that plaintiff had failed to provide necessary expert testimony regarding the standard of care for “reasonable” inspections of the type of facility at issue or that the inspection schedule in place at the time not reasonable.  The Court found for our client on the grounds that there was no evidence of how long the string had been present prior to the accident, that plaintiff had not provided expert evidence regarding reasonable inspections, and that based the plaintiff’s evidence and arguments, a jury would be required to improperly engage in speculation.