Sunday, April 10, 2016
RICHARD WALKER, ET AL. VS. COSTCO WHOLESALE WAREHOUSE A-2493-14T2
RICHARD WALKER, ET AL. VS. COSTCO WHOLESALE WAREHOUSE
In this slip-and-fall case, we hold that the trial court erred in rejecting plaintiff's request to charge the jury with mode-of-operation liability principles under Model Civil Jury Charge 5.20F(11). Plaintiff presented a reasonable factual basis for a jury to find that what he perceived to be a "white, yogurt-based substance" on the floor of defendant's warehouse store came from a self-service display stand offering cups of free cheesecake. On retrial, the court should specifically include in its charge an instruction that the defendant is not liable under mode-of-operation principles unless the jury finds that the food offered at the self-service display was the source of the substance on which plaintiff slipped.