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Minnesota Slip and Fall

55 year old woman v. Fast Food Restaurant

Facts and Legal Principle Involved

This case involved an extremely important “evidence” issue that was critical to proving that the fast food restaurant was at fault in causing our client to slip and fall on their wet floor. 

Case Review

Our client was a 55 year old woman who, on her way to work in the morning, had stopped at the fast food restaurant to get a cup of coffee.  Immediately on entering through one of the main doors, she slipped and fell, hitting her head and her entire right side.  Coming from the bright morning into a darker restaurant, she could not see that the floor was wet.  However, while lying on the hard floor, she could now feel how wet it was.  It was clear to her that the floor had just been washed (it was dry outside) but, of critical importance, the restaurant had failed to place the usual bright yellow cautionary “Wet Floor” signs.

However, when we made a claim against this restaurant, they claimed the “Wet Floor” signs were in place, and our client was at fault in not walking carefully on a wet floor.

We knew from our experience that the restaurant probably had surveillance cameras, but their adjuster handling the claim refused to confirm (1) that they had video; (2) whether their video showed our client’s fall.  Instead, this adjuster had the gall to claim our client was lying when she said no “Wet Floor” signs were in place.

We knew our client was telling the truth, but it was clear the restaurant would not cooperate in providing the video we were sure existed.  Consequently, we started a lawsuit against the restaurant, and immediately demanded all surveillance videos.  Once a lawsuit is started, a defendant is required to turn over all relevant evidence, and cannot hide behind vague denials.

As we expected, the restaurant did have surveillance video, and as we also expected, they had video of our client falling.  And, most important, the video clearly showed the floor being washed but that the employee washing the floor never put up any “Wet Floor” caution signs before our client came in.   The video clearly proved our client’s case, namely that there were no warning signs in place when our client fell   (The video also showed the restaurant’s employees scrambling to get the warning signs in place after our client’s fall.)

Based on the video, we not only had a case against the restaurant, but an exceptionally strong one.  The restaurant was now going to be held responsible for the injuries they caused to our client.

Resolution

Our client had numerous serious injuries from her fall, including a head injury and injuries to her neck and arm.  Based on our ability to prove the restaurant was at fault, and that our client did nothing wrong, we were able to obtain a very favorable settlement for her.

Impact

The case had a very favorable outcome for our client, helping to compensate her for the serious injuries she suffered, including her wage loss and her medical bills.

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