More than $100 million a year are claimed by shoppers through personal injury payouts from supermarkets after slipping in their aisles.
One grocery outlet reported that it has more than $50 million worth of claims currently on its books rising by 300% from 2004.
Personal injury lawyers substantiated the claim that the number of injured shoppers taking action is rising. Claims are accidents from malfunctioning trolleys, loose rice grains and rogue grapes driving the claims.
Due to these costly trend, supermarkets are forced to erect warning signs, invest in anti-slip mats and explore new ways of storing problem foods.
The most common of fruits, the grapes pose the biggest hazard, but other problem foods were listed as equally dangerous – lettuce leaves, snow peas, beans and milk. Source from the industry revealed that the number of claims has gone up since the global turndown. He said that when times are tough, claims go up.
Many cases are settled out of court involving payouts ranging from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands when ongoing medical treatment is required.
One case was about a 30-year-old woman who was awarded more than $300,000 last year after requiring a knee replacement when she became stuck under a trolley following a fall.
Two separate cases resolved last year involved a woman who sued after slipping on snow peas, while a man took action after breaking his wrist in a fall.
A law firm is fighting for the compensation of an elderly lady who was hurt after slipping on packaging near the milk counter of a Sydney store.
Legal experts blamed poor cleaning practices and the tendency for shoppers not to look down as they gaze at the shelves.
Some customers slip on fresh produce, others trip over strewn packaging, especially later in the night when the chaps are stocking shelves, and then there are incidents where a poorly maintained trolley is steered into someone else.
A supermarket must invest enough in cleaning as they are inviting cutomers to spend hundreds of dollars, so they should b ensuring that they are safe places to do so.
In 2008, a woman was awarded nearly $70,000 when she hurt her knee and back after slipping on a grape at a supermarket.
Supermarket has implemented measures to ensure stores are safe by improving the flooring to make it as non-slip as possible, Various range of improvement is made particularly in the produce, deli and milk section including the strategic placement of non-slip mats, as well as additional mats on wet days. Suppliers are requested to make their packaging more robust to limit spillage.