Slip and falls that lead to injuries in California retail stores and other businesses, like supermarkets, are not the most common type of San Diego slip and fall accident, but they tend to be the most hotly litigated area of slip and falls.  The relationship between the business or retail store owner and the customer or patron that visits the store is a special one; one in which a special duty has been created to provide the business premises (flooring and everything else) in a safe and hazard free manner.  Even in  cases where there is no distinction between invitees and licensees, special duties are usually charged to the business owner.

The duty may be based on some traditional common law principles or on the newer concept of the so-called "mode of operation" theory of liability (who is at fault?).  The manner in which the merchandise is packaged or displayed may impose additional duties on the business property owner. Some courts are now holding an injured person may be relieved of the burden of proving notice where the occurrence of a transitory hazardous condition may be reasonably anticipated.  For example, take the incident of grapes falling to the floor in a grocery store; lets say the grapes were stored loose in bins, and lets also say there was no evidence to say on long the grapes were on the floor before a slip and fall accident occurred.  The rationale of some courts in this fact pattern would be that sooner or later the loose grapes were gonna fall on the floor when they are displayed in that manner (loose in bins).  Thus, the grocery store had a duty to anticipate this occurrence.  In a self-service market operation, the storekeeper must take reasonable protective measures for the benefit of customers who might slip and fall on vegetables or fruit dropped on the floor by others.  This rationale is coming out of the courts today.  I use these arguments in my California slip and fall cases too and they do work.