Winning a settlement in a New Jersey slip and fall lawsuit is not always easy. Plaintiffs are often tasked with going up against major companies such as Walmart or Costco – companies with access to almost limitless funds for legal fees. As such, they can hire extremely competent defense lawyers who use a range of strategies to avoid paying settlements. For those who are suffering from legitimate and costly injuries, this can seem like a daunting prospect. A slip and fall can lead to a range of possible injuries, such as fractured hips, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and more. In some cases, slips and falls can even be fatal. A number of new cases in New Jersey highlight some of the challenges plaintiffs face today when suing for slips and falls.
The good news is that you are not alone in this battle, and even the most daunting hurdles can be overcome with help from an experienced personal injury attorney in New Jersey. With help from one of our legal professionals, you can approach even the most challenging situations in a confident, efficient manner. During your initial consultation, your attorney will assess your unique circumstances and develop the best possible legal strategy as a result. From there, we will offer guidance and assistance every step of the way, from gathering evidence to representing you in court if necessary. Due to the statute of limitations in New Jersey, it makes sense to book your consultation as soon as possible after your accident.
Woman Fails to Win Settlement in Slip and Fall Involving Grapes
In order to win a settlement in a slip and fall lawsuit, you need to show that the establishment was negligent. Establishing negligence involves four elements, including duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and injuries. Sometimes, stores can get away with causing slips and falls by taking advantage of legal loopholes. One clear example was when a store avoided paying a settlement due to the way their grapes had been packaged.
In March of 2022, it was reported that a Linden Sam’s Club would not be required to pay an elderly victim her settlement because their grapes were packaged in a clamshell container rather than an open-top bag. According to the court, these grapes do not create a “reasonably foreseeable risk,” as they are less likely to come loose during “ordinary customer handling.” In other words, the defendant could not reasonably foresee this hazard because the grapes were incredibly unlikely to fall onto the ground.
The plaintiff allegedly turned back from the checkout aisle when she realized she had forgotten an item. It was at this moment that she slipped and fell – later finding the squashed remnants of a grape still attached to her shoe. Her injuries were so severe that an ambulance had to be called to retrieve her.
The resulting lawsuit found that Sam’s Club was aware that customers would sometimes open clamshell containers and remove individual grapes. However, this behavior was considered “tampering” and was against store policy. Again, this suggested that Sam’s Club did everything it could to keep the grapes inside the clamshell containers, discouraging customers from eating them before leaving the store. The plaintiff countered by claiming that these clamshell containers pop open all the time of their own accord due to poor design.
In the end, however, the court came to the conclusion that Sam’s Club had done everything in their power to avoid grapes falling on the ground by both choosing closed-top, clamshell containers and discouraging customers from opening these containers before leaving the store. The plaintiff’s reaction was predictable, and her legal team viewed it as a “terrible decision.” This highlights the fact that plaintiffs can experience surprising challenges when filing personal injury lawsuits – often involving the smallest details imaginable.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching for a qualified personal injury attorney in New Jersey, look no further than Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. Over the years, we have assisted numerous injured plaintiffs in the Garden State – including victims of slips and falls. We know that these injuries can be life-altering and psychologically traumatic, and we can guide you towards a settlement that reflects the true extent of your damages. With your settlement in hand, you can pay for medical expenses, missed wages, emotional distress, and much more. Remember, internet research can only get you so far. Book your consultation today and take decisive action as you strive for justice with our help.