Trader Joe’s is quickly growing into a favorite grocery store for mothers of young children because of the variety of healthy, organic food that the store offers. The store can reasonably expect that mothers with small children will be in and out of the store all day and it is Trader Joe’s responsibility to keep them safe, both in the store itself and the parking lot. Failing that, Trader Joe’s must pay compensation to a person who falls in the parking lot on some ice if the ice accumulated unnaturally.
There are two caveats. First, Trader Joe’s must have known or should have known with a reasonable inspection that ice formed in the parking lot. If Trader Joe’s knew about it or should have known about it, then the store should have done something to protect its customers. The store cannot turn a blind eye to dangers in the parking lot, but they are also responsible for doing what is reasonably expected, and not protecting every person from every potential harm that might happen. For instance, putting down ice melt is reasonable, but if the melted snow and ice refreezes, it is not an unnatural accumulation of ice. Second, people still have a responsibility to protect themselves. In other words, if the reasonable person knew that there might be ice on the ground, she should look for it and try to avoid it if possible.
Trader Joe’s could fight hard against claims of injuries stemming from falls in their parking lots. Therefore, a mother who falls on an unnatural accumulation of ice and snow in a Trader Joe’s parking lot must be prepared to show how the injuries she suffered after falling changed her life — showing evidence of the difficulty you have taking care of your children because of the injuries you experienced and how hard it is on you physically and emotionally will help you show that you should receive a substantial financial award from Trader Joe’s for falling on ice in its parking lot.
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