Most have been to a salad bar at our favorite supermarket or restaurant. Many times you might see food on floor and be careful not slip and fall on it. But often times we are busy filling our plates and do not see the hazard on the floor.
Connecticut Courts have established a rule called the "mode of operation rule." What that in essence says is that since operation of such a salad bar can be hazardous because food is likely to hit the floor the store or restaurant may be liable without first having notice of the dangerous condition. Typically in slip an fall cases in Connecticut you have to prove the owner of the premises either had actual notice or constructive notice of the food debris on the floor.
Constructive notice means that the food debris would have had to been on the floor long enough that the store or restaurant owner should have known it was there. As you can tell proving constructive notice in Court may be difficult.
The mode of operation rule eliminates the need for constructive notice if it is applicable. Salad bars would most likely be subject to the mode of operation rule in Connecticut.
If you have had such a case please call me to discuss. Thank you.
Lauren Winer Beck
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