Slip and Fall on a Wal-Mart Floor In Texas

In Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Gonzalez, 968 S.W.2d 934 (Tex. 1998), the Texas Supreme Court held the evidence not legally sufficient to support a finding that macaroni salad had been on a Wal-Mart floor long enough to charge Wal-Mart with constructive notice of the condition. Id. at 936. No witnesses testified that they had seen or were aware of the spilled macaroni before Gonzalez slipped on it. The only evidence offered regarding the length of time the macaroni salad had been on the floor was that it was "dirty," had "footprints and cart track marks" in it, and the plaintiff's daughter's opinion that it "seemed like it had been there a while." Id. The court found that to be no evidence that Wal-Mart had constructive notice of the spilled macaroni. In the case of Adam Dante Corp. v. Sharpe, 483 S.W.2d 452, 454-55 (Tex. 1972), the Texas Supreme Court accepted Section 343 of the Restatement (Second) of Torts (1965) as a summary description of the duty of reasonable care that an occupier of premises owes to invitees. Section 343 provides: A possessor of land is subject to liability for physical harm caused to his invitees by a condition on the land if, but only if, he (a) knows or by the exercise of reasonable care would discover the condition and should realize that it involves an unreasonable risk of harm to such invitees, and (b) should expect that they will not discover or realize the danger, or will fail to protect themselves against it, and(c) fails to exercise reasonable care to protect them against the danger.