fbpx skip to Main Content

PREMISES LIABILITY: Superior Court denies Summary Judgment where bulge in mat is deemed “chronic”

The plaintiff brought suit against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. after she tripped and fell over a bulging mat in the vestibule of the store she claimed was negligently maintained.  The defendant moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the bulge in the mat did not exist for sufficient time to put the defendants on notice of the defect.  The court denied the motion, holding that while the defendants did not have actual notice, there was evidence to show there was a genuine issue of material fact as to constructive notice.  The court reasoned that where surveillance video shows the mat bulging numerous times in the hour before the incident and employees kept remedying it, and expert testimony was that the bulging was chronic based on the video surveillance and employee testimony that the mat kept bulging.  The court found that the defect existed for a sufficient period of time to put the defendants on notice of the defective mat.   Rachel Baribeault v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. KNLCV 176030380S, May 16, 2019