Plaintiff Who Tripped on Plastic Newspaper Strap Keeps Her Case Alive; Defense Summary Judgment Motion Loses

Court: Supreme Court, Queens County, New York

Case: Kathleen Lohle v. The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, LLC

Date: Aug. 20, 2012

From: New York attorney Gary E. Rosenberg (personal injury and accident attorney and lawyer; serving the Bronx and Queens; Queens accident lawyer)

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Facts: In April, 2010, plaintiff Lohle, age 48, tripped on a plastic strap used to bundle newspapers in front of a Stop & Shop Supermarket. She broke her wrist as a result of the accident. The defense asks the Court to dismiss the complaint on a summary judgment motion.

Plaintiff=s argument: After she fell she looked and noticed the plastic band. She didn't know how long it had been there before her accident. She heard from store employees that the band was from a newspaper delivery. In her forward fall, she hit her knee, wrist and head on the ground. Bundles of newspapers are delivered to the front of the store overnight and carried in by a store employee in th morning.

Defense fails to show when it last inspected the area before Lohle's accident. the store employees do not say when they walked through the area. The Store Manager doesn't say exactly when she actually inspected the area before the accident.

Defense argument: It did not have actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition, nor did it create it.Thus it had no legal responsibility or duty to remove the plastic straps so that they did not pose a danger.

The Store Manager oversees the store and walks the store, including the inside and outside entrance/exit area, to check that the store is running smoothly and clean. She didn't notice anything out of the ordinary

Court Holding: The defense failed to show when the store entrance where Lohle fell was last inspected before her accident. So, the defense failed to establish, in support of its summary judgment motion, that it didn't have notice of the band on the ground and/or that it didn't leave the band on the ground.

The defense summary judgment motion is DENIED.

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