Alabama Slip and Fall - Water in Store Entrance
Can a store be liable for your injuries resulting from a fall in the entrance due to rainwater? This is a very difficult case. Why? The appellate courts of Alabama have made these difficult cases.
The Supreme Court of Alabama has held:
Although storekeeper owes customer a duty to exercise reasonable care to maintain premises in a safe condition, where foreign substance is rain water tracked in by customers and in absence of unusual accumulations, due care does not require that a storekeeper keep floor completely free of water; however, each case must be examined in light of its particular circumstances, and where there are unusual accumulations of rain water or other circumstances, due care may require that storekeeper take affirmative measures such as mopping, applying anti-slip compounds or posting warnings.
So, the question in these types of cases becomes one of whether there was an "Unusual Accumulation" of rainwater. What is that?
Also, our court has held that floor mat placement is not grounds for a claim for injury:
Nor does the evidence reveal "other circumstances" that would indicate negligence on Wal-Mart's part. Plaintiff attempted to make an issue out of Wal-Mart's failure to place the doormats flush with the doorstep. Doormat placement, however, does not constitute "other circumstances" which would defeat a directed verdict motion. Doormats are one of a conceivable number of safety measures that might be required upon a showing of unusual accumulations of rainwater or "other circumstances." Absent a showing of an unusual amount of rain water, or "other circumstances," Wal-Mart was under no duty to provide floormats.FN2 Furthermore, absent a showing that the floormat in some way affirmatively caused the slip and fall (e.g. wrinkled surface; damaged backing; etc.), the floormat itself does not support a cause of action for negligence. Doormat placement, without more, is not negligence.
This is why it is so important to have the proper witnesses and the proper attorney when you have a claim resulting from a fall in a store.