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cartoon of a man slipping in a supermarket

Matthew DiMario secures Summary Judgment for Major New England Supermarket Chain

Melick & Porter, LLP Partner Matthew DiMario recently secured summary judgment in Rhode Island for a major New England supermarket chain. Plaintiff alleged that she slipped and fell and sustained injuries while shopping at one of Defendant’s stores. Plaintiff was deposed in September 2021 and stated that she could not recall how the injury occurred or what caused her to fall. Melick & Porter, LLP moved for summary judgment on the basis that Plaintiff failed to identify any substance or object, or any acts or omissions by Defendant, as the source of her alleged injuries. Melick & Porter, LLP argued that Plaintiff could not identify anything in the area that could have caused her to fall and that Plaintiff testified that she would never be able to provide a description of what caused her fall. Melick & Porter, LLP further argued that, therefore, no duty was owed.

The Court agreed with Melick & Porter, LLP that the facts did not create an inference that Defendant owed Plaintiff a duty. Although Rhode Island courts frown upon dispositions of negligence claims by summary judgment, the Court found that the Plaintiff failed to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an essential element to her case – that the Defendant owed her a duty, and granted summary judgment for the Defendant.