Attorney Mike Bottaro Quoted in Lawyer Newspaper
June 29th, 2018
Lawyers Newspaper Quotes Attorney Mike Bottaro On Recent Personal Decision Supreme Court Decision
Rhode Island Supreme Court Slip and Fall Decision
In Dent v. PRRC, Inc., No. 2016-129 Appeal, the case involved the appeal in a premises liability case, commonly referred to as a slip and fall case. Plaintiff contended that she slipped on a “brownish oily substance” in a grocery store causing several personal injuries.
At the trial level, the Court granted Defendant’s summary judgment motion as to her negligence claim and dismissed the remaining claims. On appeal before the RI Supreme Court, Plaintiff advanced several arguments.
The Court agreed with Plaintiff that summary judgment was improperly granted and therefore, remanded the case back to the Superior Court on the issue of “notice.”
Notably, there was another issue advanced by Plaintiff relating to recognition of the theory called the “mode of operation.” Generally speaking, the mode of operation theory, adopted in several other states, makes it more difficult for store owners to escape liability in slip and fall cases. This was the second time the theory had been brought before RI’s highest court in two years. But both times, the Court has not addressed the merits.
To Mike, a personal injury lawyer representing those injured in these cases throughout Rhode Island, he would have like to have seen the Court address and adopt the mode of operation theory:
“The court needs to formally recognize the mode of operation theory of recovery, as many other states have done. It levels the playing field for consumers who have been injured by a dangerous condition in for-profit grocery markets.” He mentioned how the theory would answer the dissent’s concerns while giving courts a more “sympathetic view” toward injured consumers.
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