On June 2, 2009 our firm successfully resolved the case of M.K. v. Whole Foods Market Group in excess of six figures. Our client sustained injuries while shopping at the Whole Foods Store located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on August 28, 2006.
While attempting to purchase a case of 365 Sparkling Mineral Water, the box suddenly opened up causing heavy bottles to fall upon our client resulting in significant injuries to both the foot and ankle.
In this case we were forced to sue Whole Foods Store as well as the Italian manufacturer and designer of the case. We alleged that the case of water was negligently designed and manufactured and failed to warn that it could suddenly open up, we also alleged that Whole Foods did not inspect or maintain their stores in a reasonably safe condition.
As a result a simple claim against grocery store turned into an international product liability lawsuit that took nearly two years to resolve. Trial was set for July 13, 2009 in Broward County in front of Judge Carol Lisa Phillips.
Our client received compensation in excess of six figures for both lost time from work, medical expenses in the past and pain and suffering.
Customers injuries occur frequently in supermarkets, grocery stores and warehouse retailers because many stores simply do not have in place sound policy and procedures for inspecting and maintaining their stores. Most slip and fall injuries could be avoided if stores implemented scheduled inspections of merchandise as well as the aisles by dedicated employees, rather than relying on employees who are serving as stockers or cashiers to notice dangerous conditions.
Slip and falls are foreseeable, particularly in produce areas since customers often like to sample food and graze when they shop. Most retailers do not have waste baskets or clean up supplies at each aisle because they do not want to “waste” valuable retail space.
Systematic inspections by trained employees, as well a bonus plans for each day that a store goes injury/incident free, would go a long way to make stores safer places for us all. Retailers must decide prioritize of customer safety above profits, a dramatic decline in customer injuries will result.