Boston Partner Sean Milano recently obtained a defense verdict from a Boston Municipal Court jury in favor of a firm retail client. The plaintiff brought a negligence action against our client, the defendant retailer, arising from an alleged slip and fall in the store. The plaintiff claimed that he was exercising due care when he slipped and fell on an accumulation of hand lotion on the floor. The responding store employees found a small area of hand lotion on the floor. The incident was captured on store surveillance video.
The plaintiff alleged that the accumulation of lotion on the floor constituted a defective condition that the defendant should have been aware of based on its floor spill training procedures and the number of employees walking through the area in the minutes before the incident, as seen in the store surveillance video. The plaintiff further alleged that as a result of his fall, he sustained injuries to his neck, knee and shoulder.
The defense argued that the plaintiff and his companion had seen the small area of hand lotion on the floor in the minutes before the incident and staged a slip and fall accident. The defense argued that the plaintiff’s description of the incident and claimed injuries were not to be believed. The plaintiff’s credibility was challenged based on the video, his many posting of photos to social media, and his inconsistent statements made in discovery and deposition. The jury returned a defense verdict in less than one hour.