Store Not Liable for Woman’s Slip-and-Fall in Wet Shoes

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After church, a woman wearing 2-inch heels with leather soles entered a store to buy oranges. She slipped and fell in the store, injuring her back and knee, which required surgery. She sued the store for negligence under occupiers’ liability law. The court dismissed her claim. The church parking lot was slushy and the store lot was wet. So it’s likely the woman’s heels were also wet. There was no evidence of water on the store’s floor. Video showed other people walking in the same area without mishap. In addition, the court found that the store’s program to keep the floor as clean and dry as possible in the circumstances met “a reasonable standard of safety.” There was a mat in the vestibule to absorb moisture from customers’ feet; another mat was located through the second set of doors. When the woman entered the store through those doors, a worker who was mopping the mat warned her to be careful. And there was a warning cone off to the left of that mat. So the court ruled that her fall was “truly an accident” for which the store wasn’t liable [Hanes v. Loblaws Inc., [2017] BCSC 102 (CanLII), Jan. 23, 2017].