Jeff Tenthoff successfully defended a large retail grocery store in relation to a claim arising from a trip and fall over an empty u-boat cart.
Plaintiff, a 62-year old woman, alleged lingering knee and shoulder injuries after she tripped over an empty u-boat cart that was left unattended in the back aisle of the grocery store. Plaintiff had scrapes and bruises on her knees and was taken to the emergency room immediately after the fall. She then began a seven month therapy program for strains and sprains of her knee and shoulder. Plaintiff alleged continuing knee pain causing difficulty standing for periods of time and walking up and down stairs two and half years after the fall.
Plaintiff alleged that Defendants acted unreasonably and negligently when they left a u-boat unattended in the back aisle of the grocery store. Plaintiff argued that had Defendants simply stored the u-boat in the back of the store, or at the very least move it off the sales floor her accident would have been avoided. Plaintiff suggested that Defendant’s placement of merchandise was meant to attract a customer’s gaze to the shelves. She further argued that the nature of the empty u-boat, in particular the low center platform, caused Plaintiff not to see it until after her fall.
Mr. Tenthoff argued that Defendant acted reasonably and that Plaintiff failed to present any credible evidence to explain why she did not see such an open and obvious condition, as well as Plaintiff’s comparative negligence for failing to look where she was going.
Ultimately, the jury found that Defendant was not negligent.