A New Haven woman filed a lawsuit against Lowe’s Home Center after she alleged the store didn’t fulfill its responsibility to remove snow and ice on the sidewalk in front of its Connecticut store. The woman claimed she slipped and fell on the ground, and resulted in her suffering traumatic brain injury.
This lawsuit is a classic slip-and-fall case, in which the store owner and management have a duty of care to its shoppers to keep the premise in good condition and free of debris, ice, snow, or obstacles that can potentially cause personal injury.
Lowe’s Lawsuit Allegations and Case Details
The following allegations and case details were gathered from local news reports as well as court documents:1
- The plaintiff claims in a five-page complaint that the Lowe’s store was in “dangerous and defective condition,” because the sidewalk was covered in snow and ice in front.
- The case was originally filed in Milford Superior Court, but was transferred to the federal U.S. District Court, because the lower court threshold for damages is $15,000, whereas federal court the threshold is $75,000. Attorneys for both sides agreed that damages would likely exceed the 75K threshold.
- The incident took place February 2015 on Post Road in Orange.
- The complaint states that Lowe’s was responsible for ensuring the walkway to its store is safe for customers.
- The plaintiff’s claim goes on to specify that she “incurred medical expenses and is likely to incur the same in the future,” and furthermore “will experience a risk of both future harm and medical treatment,” due to her existing traumatic brain injury. However, no specific amount for financial damages sought is listed.
- The lawsuit additionally alleges that the store “failed to properly warn the plaintiff of the dangerous and hazardous condition of the sidewalk for pedestrians.”
- Lowe’s has declined to comment on the lawsuit, but did cite in its notice of removal from Superior Court that it expected damages would exceed $75,000.
How Can Property Owners & Management Prevent Premise Liability Lawsuits?
The following is a list of precautions store and property owners can take to prevent premise liability lawsuits:
- Routinely perform an inspection of the property for dangerous conditions, make any repairs needed, and keep meticulous property records to reduce legal fees, keep insurance premiums lower, and damage awards to a minimum. This action should also increase profitability.
- Create a regular or daily sweep schedule, where employees go around the premises and look for problems, such as spilled drinks and keep a log of when it is performed. So, if a slip and fall matter is taken to court, it will prove the owner took necessary measures to avoid any troubled condition.
- Stay proactive, and when problems are found repair or remedy them as soon as possible. Again, to show reasonable action was taken to correct problems.
- Look at inventory on the retail floor and look for items over-stacked or stacked too high.
- Put a sign on the store front stating: “No food or drink in the store.” This also shows you took precautions to avert a slip and fall accident.
- If an injury does occur, make sure an injury report is done. Be sure to identify the type of footwear the customer is wearing.
Contact a Pasadena Personal Injury Lawyer at the Law Offices of Pius Joseph
If you or a loved one have been injured because of a slip and fall at a retail store, then you should contact a Pasadena Personal Injury Lawyer at the Law Offices of Pius Joseph for vigorous representation and effective legal advocacy when you need it most. Since 1990, the Law Offices of Pius Josepsh have been dedicated to building the strongest cases possible, and helping their clients move forward through the complex legal process to regain their lives – financially and physically by fighting for the best possible outcome.
We’ll be happy to sit down and give you a free, no-obligation initial consultation at our Pasadena office as to how we can help you and the best strategy to move forward. Calling (626) 397-1050 or emailing our office using the contact form on this page.
1“Lowe’s Suit Claims Shopper Suffered Traumatic Brain Injury” published in Connecticut Law Tribune, March 2017.