Woman wins settlement in grocery store mishap


A B.C. court has awarded an elderly woman nearly $50,000 after she tripped over a wooden pallet in a grocery store and broke her hip.

The 76-year-old woman, Juanita Etson, was shopping at the Real Canadian Superstore in Abbotsford , B.C. with her daughter in November of 2008 when she tripped over the pallet, which was stacked with pails of detergent. According to an article in The Province newspaper, Etson broke her hip and had to undergo three surgeries.

Etson sued the owner of the store, Loblaw Companies, claiming the company created a hazard by placing the pallet in the middle of a shopping aisle. Lawyers for Loblaw countered that Etson was responsible for watching where she walked.

Justice Barbara Fisher ruled that both parties were at fault. Fisher said Loblaw shared the responsibility for Etson's injury and "breached its duty of care," according to an article on the website BCLocalNews.

“It is my view that the pallet was not reasonably safe and it was reasonably foreseeable that its condition with the protruding board and the manner in which it was stocked would present a danger to a customer," Fisher wrote in her reasons for judgment.

Fisher assessed damaged at $97,027.80. She awarded Etson half that amount ($48,513.90).

Back to Canadian Grocer

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds