Noel v. Wal-Mart Stores East LP

In this slip-and-fall case, genuine material issues of fact remain as to whether the defendant had actual notice of the unsafe condition at its Martinsville store and failed to address it in a reasonable time.

The plaintiff offered evidence from which a reasonable juror could conclude that Wal- Mart had actual notice of liquid on the store floor but failed to either warn of or remedy the dangerous condition. A person appearing to be a store manager said: “Someone was supposed to clean that up.” This statement could reasonably be interpreted to show: (1) Wal-Mart was aware of the liquid on the floor; (2) a responsible party had instructed a Wal-Mart employee to clean up the liquid; (3) a reasonable amount of time had elapsed during which the requested clean-up should have occurred; (4) the liquid was not cleaned up; and (5) Wal-Mart did not warn its customers of the danger after it learned that liquid was on the floor. While the Plaintiff can’t show how long the liquid was on the floor, she need only establish that Wal-Mart had enough time to either warn or remedy the defect.

Defendant’s motion for summary judgment denied.

Noel v. Wal-Mart Stores East LP, No. 4:18cv27, Feb. 14, 2019. WDVA at Danville (Kiser).

Categories: Opinions, U.S. District Court - Western District of Virginia


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