Slip and Fall on Unpeeled Banana In a Store

In Hale v. Safeway Stores, Inc. (1954) 129 Cal. App. 2d 124, 276 P.2d 118, there was conflicting evidence about how long the banana which caused plaintiff's fall had been on the floor. The unpeeled banana had small teeth marks on it, which led to the inference that "the banana had been dropped on the floor by a small child who had tried to bite into the fruit without peeling it, and had failed." (Id. at p. 126.) The plaintiff was accompanied by her 10-year-old son, but had seen no other small children in the store during the 30 to 45 minutes she had been there. In addition, the store was busy at the time and evidence indicated that "aside from employees in the meat department, all other employees were working at the cashiers' stands." (Id. at p. 131.) In spite of contradictory testimony from an employee that he had swept the area 12 minutes before, the other evidence would have justified a finding that the banana had been on the floor significantly longer, enough to provide constructive notice. Nonsuit for the store was reversed.