Slip and Fall on a Puddle of Syrup Near a Store Entrance

In Louie v. Hagstrom's Food Stores (1947) 81 Cal. App. 2d 601, 184 P.2d 708, the plaintiff slipped on a puddle of syrup. The puddle was at the base of a post located near the entrance to the food store and near the cashier's station. There was some confusion over the testimony of when the area had been swept, but the manager testified he periodically swept the entire store. It took about 15 minutes to do so. He had just finished sweeping when the accident occurred. There was also testimony about the syrup. It was Karo brand. ". . . Karo is a thick syrup that does not flow freely; the day of the accident was a cold day; syrup will flow more freely under conditions of warmth than under cold conditions; Karo is thick and adhesive and does not flow freely; if Karo were dropped on the floor it would 'just sit there before it began to gradually ooze out.'" (Id. at p. 605.) Notwithstanding the manager's testimony that he had just swept, the contradictory evidence justified the jury's contrary conclusion that the syrup had been on the floor for quite a while and that the cashier, whose duties required her to frequently turn toward the post, should have seen the spill.