Judge Gene Pratter released a decision on Monday regarding a local baby vomit slip and fall case, and the news was not positive for Target.
It appears that Target will have to face a jury in a baby-spit-related slip-and-fall case. According to testimony presented in recent hearing, Nadyne Timberlake was just entering the chain’s Philadelphia store when she slipped and fell in a puddle of baby vomit. She injured her knee, wrist and finger in the fall.
The surveillance tapes from the store showed that employees were just standing near the vomit and not cleaning it for about seven minutes before Timberlake took her spill.
Target claimed that there wasn’t enough time for employees to notice the mess and take action to clean it and asked for the case to be dismissed but the judge in the case disagreed, and Timberlake will get her day in front of a jury.
While Target certainly has a chance to prove its case in court, many slip-and-fall cases are more easily and cheaply settled out of court, regardless of the merits of the case.
Good training reminders are issued to store-level employees but quick action is needed to address even small spills or other potential safety hazards. Employees response to situations as this can make a big difference to the company’s bottom line, and the customer experience.
A victory at the summary judgment stage does not guarantee a victory for Nadyne Timberlake in her baby vomit slip and fall suit. All that this decision settled was whether the lawsuit could proceed. The jury could still find that Target was not at fault, or the parties could settle the matter before the jury even hears the case.