top of page

News

Constructive Notice an Issue in Premise Liability Case (NJ)

July 2, 2020

Share to:

<p style="text-align: justify;">In<em> <a href="https://www.wcmlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Jackson-v.-Shoprite.pdf">Jackson v. Shoprite</a>,</em> the plaintiff allegedly suffered injuries after slipping and falling due to shampoo on the floor in a Shoprite store.  Video footage of the incident captured a plastic bottle of shampoo falling to the floor, and then being placed back onto the display by several customers.  Three minutes later, the plaintiff suffered her fall.  The parties agreed that the plaintiff fell due to a quarter-size dollop of shampoo from the bottle that had just fallen from the shelf.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Defendant Shoprite was dismissed from the case after filing for summary judgment. In that motion, Shoprite argued that they did not have actual or constructive notice of the shampoo on the floor.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The plaintiff appealed, contending that whether three minutes was sufficient to provide notice of the spill was a genuine issue of material fact for the jury.  The Appellate Court disagreed, noting that plaintiff offered nothing to suggest that those three minutes during which the shampoo remained on the floor provided the store with a reasonable opportunity to discover and remove the hazard.  This case confirms that the mere happening of an accident is not enough to succeed on a premise liability claim, and a plaintiff must establish actual or constructive notice of the condition.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Thanks to Heather Aquino for her contribution to this post.  Please email <a href="mailto:gcoats@wcmlaw.com">Georgia Coats</a> with any questions.</p>

Headshot of Staff Member
Button
Button
Button
Button

Contact

bottom of page