Slip-and-Fall Personal Injury Claim Filed Against KFC Restaurant
Pennsauken, NJ (Law Firm Newswire) November 17, 2015 – The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in September that the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, deserves a new trial in a slip-and-fall personal injury lawsuit.
The court determined that the trial court’s instructions to the jury were incorrect in that they contained a burden of proof exemption that, according to the state Supreme Court, is only applicable to self-service businesses, such as grocery stores and cafeterias, where consumers hold equipment and products.
Plaintiff Janice Prioleau filed a personal injury claim against KFC alleging that she suffered a slip-and-fall accident outside the restroom. Although she did not try to obtain medical treatment right away, she went to the emergency room upon her return home to Delaware. She said that she felt pain, numbness and a tingling sensation in her legs, arms and back. She went to the emergency room for a few days each week for approximately two months.
“Business owners have a duty to protect their customers from the risk of injury on their premises,” prominent New Jersey personal injury attorneys Petrillo & Goldberg stated. “Failure to do so will likely result in injury to the consumer, followed by a claim of negligence.”
Prioleau’s attorney contended that the employees produced the slippery condition by bringing grease from the kitchen to the bathrooms, which were also used by the customers. In this kind of personal injury claim, the customer is usually required to prove that the business had knowledge of the dangerous condition. However, there is an exception to the burden of proof that is called the “mode-of-operation” rule. The exception is applicable if the business’ practices caused the perilous conditions.
Although the trial court directed the jury to apply that doctrine, the appellate court found that it should not have been a factor in the jury’s decision. Justice Anne Patterson wrote that when a business permits its consumers to hold products and equipment, without supervision from employees, there is an increase in the risk that a hazardous condition will go unnoticed, and that customers will be injured.
This case can be distinguished from a previous case concerning a customer in a supermarket and a string bean. The court said that when greens are marketed in open bins from which consumers can serve themselves, it is likely that some greens will fall on the floor. In this case, the business owner must take measures to guard the consumer from the risk of being injured by this mode of operation.Learn more at http://www.petrilloandgoldberg.com/ Petrillo & Goldberg Law 6951 North Park Drive Pennsauken, NJ 08109 1333 Race Street Philadelphia, PA 19107 70 South Broad Street Woodbury, NJ 08096 Phone: 856-486-4343 Fax: 856:486-7979