North Carolina Court Issues Opinion in Slip and Fall Case Highlighting Importance of Preserving Evidence and Submitting a Complete Record on Appeal

Store owners have a duty to keep their land in a reasonably safe condition for visitors and guests, but there are still countless incidences of shoppers becoming injured due to North Carolina slip and fall accidents. In some instances, the injuries that the victim suffers can be devastating and even life-altering.  At Maurer Law, we proudly assist North Carolina residents with holding negligent storeowners responsible for failing to keep their premises safe.

Obtaining any evidence possible to show that the defendant’s conduct caused your injuries is a critical step to securing the compensation that you deserve. A North Carolina Court of Appeal recently heard a case in which the plaintiff alleged that she slipped and fell on an oily substance in the defendant’s store in the Wake Forest neighborhood. She was shopping with a friend who caught her as she fell. The store manager had her fill out a customer statement in which she wrote that there was a greasy substance with food particles on the floor. She also reported that her right hip and ankle were painful. The manager informed the plaintiff that the incident was on camera, but there was no surveillance of the accident. The woman did not seek medical attention.

After a jury trial, the jury concluded that the defendant’s conduct was not the cause of the plaintiff’s alleged injuries. The trial court denied the plaintiff’s motion for a new trial and the plaintiff appealed, challenging a number of items including the jury instructions that the court provided to the jury and the denial of her motion for a new trial.

Regarding her jury instruction challenge, the plaintiff argued that the lower court erred when denying her request to instruct the jury on spoliation of evidence regarding the failure of the defendants to produce video surveillance regarding the fall.

The appellate court disagreed, noting that the plaintiff failed to include portions of the trial court record in which the plaintiff testified that the store manager informed her that the incident was caught on camera. No other evidence in the record supporter her assertion that the fall was recorded, so the trial court was within its bounds in denying the request to instruct the jury on spoilage.

Finally, the appellate court concluded that denying the plaintiff’s motion for a new trial was not an error because the court did not commit other reversible errors regarding the jury instructions and motions in limine. Based on this, it dismissed the plaintiff’s appeal and upheld the lower court’s ruling.

If you were injured in a slip-and-fall accident, you should speak to a knowledgable North Carolina premises liability attorney as soon as possible to ensure that any evidence supporting your case is preserved and protected. At Maurer Law, we will ensure that your rights are asserted to the fullest extent and that you receive the settlement or judgment that you deserve. We provide a free consultation to help you learn about our team and to discuss your situation. Call us now at 1-888-258-1087 or contact us online to get started.

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