An unusual lawsuit involving a leguminous vegetable has been filed against a New Jersey supermarket.
The plaintiff in this case is a woman from Oakland, a borough of Bergen County, and the defendant is the local ShopRite supermarket. Although the lawsuit in question was filed in early October, the accident is alleged to have happened two years ago.
According to court records kept by Bergen County Superior Court, the 55-year old New Jersey woman stepped on a string bean and fell down on the aisle floor near the produce department. The lawsuit further claims that the plaintiff suffered extensive injuries that left her disfigured and with a certain degree of disability.
The lawsuit is being filed in accordance to the numerous provisions of the New Jersey Revised Statutes as they relate to negligence, which can be comparative or contributory. In this particular case, the plaintiff asserts that ShopRite was negligent because it failed to prevent string beans from falling from the baskets set up for self-service shopping. This self-service produce shopping model has become very popular at many supermarket chains across the United States; shoppers are encouraged to get their hands on fresh produce that they can pick, choose and bag for themselves. This shopping model, which is similar to a farmers market, cuts down on packaging and provides a more wholesome, has the unfortunate potential of produce falling down from the baskets.
The lawsuit argues that ShopRite was negligent insofar as not posting an employee to scoop up fallen string beans. Court records also show that the plaintiff believes that ShopRite failed to equip its produce section with safety floor mats that can provide better grip and protective cushion in case of a slip-and-fall situation.
As can be expected in these lawsuits, the plaintiff seeks to recover funds spent on medical bills and lost wages. The ShopRite location being sued is part of the Wakefern Food Corporation, a major retail consortium that is headquartered in Newark.