Wal-Mart Not Liable For Slip And Fall Accident in Houma, Louisiana

walmart_carrefour_langelier_entrance-1-1024x723If you slip and fall at a store, you might think the store will be liable for your injuries. However, to succeed in a slip-and-fall claim in Louisiana, there are various elements you must show before you can recover. You might not recover for your injuries if you do not provide evidence to support your claims. 

Joycelyn Griffin claimed that she slipped and fell at a Walmart store in Houma, Louisiana, because Wal-Mart’s employees were negligent in causing or failing to remove a foreign substance on the floor. She fell as she headed toward the register to check out. Griffin testified that around the time of the accident, she observed a store employee operating a waxing machine. Wal-Mart testified that this machine was not dispensing any type of liquid. Notably, Griffin testified that she did not recall if the floor was slippery, did not look to see if anything caused her to fall, and did not recall what caused her to fall. Under Louisiana law, in a lawsuit involving slip and fall incidents on a merchant’s premises due to a condition in or on the premises, the plaintiff (here, Griffin) is required to show that: (1) the condition presented an unreasonable risk of harm to the claimant and that risk of harm was reasonably foreseeable;  (2)  the merchant either created or had actual or constructive notice of the condition which caused the damage, before the occurrence; and (3) the merchant failed to exercise reasonable care. See La. R.S. 9:2800.6(A).

Wal-Mart moved for summary judgment. Under Rule 56(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a court should grant summary judgment when there is no genuine dispute of any material fact. Wal-Mart argued that Griffin had not made a positive showing of the condition’s existence before her fall. The district court granted summary judgment in Wal-Mart’s favor because Griffin failed to provide sufficient evidence to support the elements of her claim, as she could not recall what caused her to fall or provide other evidence supporting her claim. Griffin appealed.  

When a defendant moves for summary judgment, the plaintiff must make a positive showing to support their claim. See La. R.S. 9:2800.6(A). On appeal, the appellate court noted that although Griffin claimed that she fell because Wal-Mart failed to remove a foreign substance from the floor, Griffin testified that she did not recall what caused her to fail. Therefore, the appellate court affirmed the district court’s ruling, agreeing that Griffin failed to make a positive showing of the condition’s existence prior to her fall. 

Suppose you or a family member were involved in a slip and fall accident. In that case, it is essential to consult with the best attorney who can advise you about the required elements to succeed in a slip and fall accident claim in Louisiana and help you avoid the situation in which Griffin found herself.

Additional Sources: Griffin v. Wal-Mart Louisiana, LLC

Written By Berniard Law Firm

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