In some personal injury cases, it can be difficult for the plaintiff to identify the facts leading up to the accident and explain exactly what caused the injury that he or she suffered. In a recent Maryland slip and fall case, the plaintiff’s testimony did not directly implicate how the defendant was at fault for her injury. However, the matter was decided her favor on appeal.
Upon entering a grocery store owned by the defendant, the plaintiff in the case asked a store employee where the rice was located. The employee, who was re-stocking shelves in one of the aisles, pointed to an upper shelf. A surveillance video captured the scene, showing that multiple boxes were lined along the right side of the aisle in which the employee and plaintiff were standing. The video also showed that after the plaintiff got the rice from the top shelf, she turned around and appeared to trip over a stack of boxes.
The plaintiff brought a personal injury suit against the grocery store and the employee, alleging negligence. The case went to trial, where the plaintiff testified that she fell after catching her foot on something, although she could not identify what it was. At the close of the plaintiff’s case, the circuit court entered judgment in favor of the defendants, ruling that the plaintiff failed to present a prima facie case of negligence. The plaintiff appealed the decision to the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland.