The Cassidy Law Firm Blog

Monday, November 14, 2016

String Bean Slip & Fall Not A Laughing Matter

Last month the Star-Ledger published a story about a Bergen County woman who filed a lawsuit against her local ShopRite for injuries she allegedly suffered when she slipped and fell on a string bean while grocery shopping. The story was very straight-forward, but it was promoted in a manner that invited ridicule.

And ridicule people did. Nearly all the comments on the story either poke fun at the plaintiff, or suggest her suit is frivolous. This is a sad reflection of the state of public opinion of litigation, and an invitation for the news media to run more click-bait stories on cases that have strange or funny sounding facts. This is not good because it works to discourage people who have been injured from seeking justice.

The string bean lawsuit is not a case our firm is involved with, so we don’t know anything more about it than what the news story says, but we wanted to take this opportunity to speak up in defense of slip and fall lawsuits.

Slipping or tripping and falling may sound rather innocent, but these cases often involve serious injuries. Just because a case involves weird or humorous facts does not mean that the plaintiff is faking their injuries, or was not hurt very badly. For example, the women in the string bean suit claims she “suffered severe and permanent injuries, was disabled and disfigured; has suffered and will continue to suffer great pain and torment, both mental and physical.” People online are scoffing at this description, but it is exactly the sort of serious injury one could expect from a bad slip or trip and fall.

When someone is injured because they slipped or tripped and fell, and it is likely that someone else’s negligence was the cause of the fall, the person who was injured should not hesitate to seek compensation for their injuries. Getting injured in a slip or trip and fall can be embarrassing since the victim may believe that no injury should have occurred. This can lead seriously injured parties to keep their stories to themselves, but nobody should be stuck paying medical bills for an injury that would not exist if the business they were visiting was properly caring for their property.

The next time there is a slip or trip and fall case filed in the New Jersey courts, the media should be more careful about inviting public ridicule of people who may be seriously injured lest future victims hesitate to speak up.

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