The Connecticut State Supreme Court recently adopted the mode of operation of rule. This rule is extremely important for people injured as a result of a fall down (slip and fall) at a self service store. Self service stores are supermarkets, cafeterias, fast-food restaurants and other businesses where the customer selects the merchandise or food from the displays as opposed to an employee getting the product or food for the customer.
The mode of operation rule allows a customer injured due to a condition inherent in the way a store is operated to recover compensation without establishing that the store had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition. For example, if a restaurant has a self-service salad bar one would expect that customers will be dropping food on the floor. If this is occurring and the restaurant does not take reasonable measures to prevent this from happening then the restaurant is liable for injuries suffered by a customer that falls due to food on the floor.
The rule does away with requiring the injured person from proving that the restaurant had specific notice of the very item that caused the person to fall. This rule will allow many more injured customers to rightfully recover compensation in slip and fall incidents.
The name of the case that adopted the mode of operation rule is Kelly v. Stop and Shop, Inc. and the decision will be officially released on April 3, 2007.