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Plaintiff's Case Melts Away on Constructive Notice Against Wholesale Club (NJ)

May 5, 2016

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<p style="text-align: justify;">In the winter climes of New Jersey, we never trust the weather forecaster, and always prepare for precipitation.  In the case of<em> <a href="https://www.wcmlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Cortes-v.-BJs-Wholesale-Club.pdf">Cortes v. BJs Wholesale Club</a></em>, the commercial retailer successfully made it through the snow and summary judgment on the issue of constructive notice.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The plaintiff, who had been shopping in the store for thirty minutes, slipped and fell on a two foot wide puddle of water within the BJ’s store, which allegedly stemmed from melted snow from an abandoned shopping cart in an aisle.  The existence of the puddle was not disputed.  However, the plaintiff was unable to establish how long the puddle existed, what caused it, or whether or not anyone else had encountered the puddle prior to her fall, such that the store may have been provided notice of the condition.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">BJ’s successfully demonstrated that it had maintained a routine inspection schedule, which included monitoring of hazards on the store’s floor.  The District Court noted that regardless of the presence of the melted water, there was no evidence put forth by the plaintiff to support the theory that the store should have known that the puddle existed, and the plaintiff’s theory of constructive notice melted away.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;"><span>Thanks to Emily Kidder for her contribution to this post.  Please email <a href="mailto:mgauvin@wcmlaw.com">Mike Gauvin </a></span><span>with any questions.</span></p>

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