Danger in the Fruit and Vegetable Aisle at Publix
Author: Attorney Dennis Schaefer
It is uncontroverted that the fruit and vegetable aisle at most Publix stores is “pretty as a picture”. In most cases all of the fruits and vegetables are in perfect order, all aligned for the public to buy these products. The final touch is always the spraying of the fruits and vegetables. The spraying is to hydrate the products for crispness and to create a shine for attractiveness. Water, which is what is sprayed on the products, if not properly controlled, is the danger.
Our client was an elderly gentlemen shopping in his local Publix in North Palm Beach. He had been going to this store for many years and was quite familiar with its layout and policies. He had entered the store, specifically to buy all of the produce needed for dinner. He walked through the store, directly for the produce department. He had obtained a shopping cart when he entered the store. He walked with the cart, into the produce section. He left the cart, and began to walk towards the first counter with produce that he wanted to buy.
Our client had moved about ten feet from his cart and was approximately three feet from the counter when his feet flew out from under him and he landed flat on his back, hitting his head. He laid stunned on the floor and was still in the same position when help arrived. When he gathered his senses about himself he felt the floor which had a thin mist of water on it. He also noticed that the produce on the counter above him was glistening. Apparently having been recently sprayed by water, the produce was glistening and dripping onto the floor.
Our client was taken to the hospital from the store. He was diagnosed and treated for many months before his discharge by his doctors. Ultimately a claim was made and a settlement reached for injuries he sustained due to the dangerous premises that Publix provided him to shop. If the produce area looks really good, be careful, it could be very dangerous.