Long Beach Supermarket Found not Liable for Fatal Fall Accident

The Los Angeles Court of Appeals held that a California supermarket is not liable for the slip and fall death of a customer who was fatally injured while pulling a grocery cart loose at the entrance of the store. The judge who decided the slip and fall case stated that two shopping baskets stuck together did not present a reasonable risk to customers and therefore did not consist of a dangerous condition that the supermarket should have protected against. In addition, the judge stated that the grocery store knew about the issue or should have known about the issue.

The California slip and fall accident occurred in August 2008, when customer Billie Padilla visited the Superior Super Warehouse with her husband, Alvino Campos. At the entrance to the store, Campos testified that he heard his wife scream, “I fell,” and found her on the ground near the carts. Although she indicated that the carts were stuck together, she did not indicate that the carts were defective. No one witnessed the fall.

Padilla was brought by ambulance to Long Beach Memorial Hospital and then transferred to Kaiser, where she underwent surgery to repair a fractured leg. She died of complications the following day. Her husband, along with several of Padilla’s children, filed a lawsuit against the owners of the Long Beach grocery store, Super Center Concepts, Inc., for wrongful death, premises liability, general negligence, and loss of consortium.

The family of the woman also filed a medical malpractice claim against the hospital where the surgery took place, but that case was dismissed.

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