Burden of Proof in Slip and Fall Injury Cases

36-2-1651 Osborn v. Walgreens Pharmacy, App. Div. (per curiam) (4 pp.)

In this slip and fall case the Appellate court reiterated a very simple legal theory of all slip and fall cases.  

The plaintiff has to be able to identify, i.e. carry her burden of legally sustainable proof, of:

(a) what caused her to fall, and

(b) that defendant had actual or constructive knowledge of that dangerous condition prior to the plaintiff being injured.  

In this country everyone can sue!  However, that does not mean you are entitled to the only remedy the court’s can award; money.

The plaintiff has the burden of proof and must meet his/her evidential burdens of proof.  

Here plaintiff fell in the parking lot of one of defendant’s stores, but she was unable to say what caused her fall and could not describe with any precision where in the parking lot she fell, there was no evidence on which the trier of fact could conclude the premises were not in reasonably safe condition, and even if it could be assumed that there was a defect in the lot, there is no evidence that defendant had actual or constructive knowledge of it prior to plaintiff’s fall.  In other words, plaintiff’s attorney took a slip and fall case that he could not win, prove, or performed a poor investigation prior to filing suit! 

Submitted by accident and personal injury attorney, Jeffrey Hark

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