We regularly review the verdict reporters for details about case verdicts and settlements to stay abreast of legal developments. We have written extensively before about how difficult slip and fall cases on rainy days can be and yet another defense verdict out of the US District Court for Atlanta affirms this.
The beginning legal issue with all slip and fall cases is; who has superior knowledge of the slippery danger. Store owners are not automatically legally liable for a fall just because it occurs on their land; there must be knowledge of a danger and a negligent failure to address it or warn the customer.
The problem with rainy day or “natural accumulation” cases is that when it rains, everyone its wet out and that water will be tracked in on your shoes and the shoes of other customers. That knowledge that floors can be slippery when wet is universal; I mean Bon Jovi named their album after it, so Courts can take judicial notice.
Even if the Plaintiff can get past summary judgment on the issue of whether they fell on rainwater or some other substance, juries are pretty hard on these cases.
I tried one in Clayton to a defense verdict a few years back and here is another example.
Chambers v. Bridgestone Retail Operations LLC
March 2015 defense verdict in U.S. District Court for the Northern District.
Plaintiff sustained lower leg fractures and surgery after slipping in the parking area. It had rained heavily but she claimed that she felt and tasted oil when she fell. Her argument was that it was the oil combined with the rain that caused the fall. The defense pointed out that no oil showed up in an inspection and the Plaintiff’s own daughter did not see the oil. The store said that employees are in the parking lot all day, changing out batteries and the like and their policy is to clean up anything they saw. The jury found this testimony compelling and gave the plaintiff nothing.
We have said it before and I’ll say it again, rainy day slip and falls are the kiss of death.