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Iowa Man Sues Restaurant Chain After Slipping On Floor Peanuts

A national steakhouse chain is currently the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit that was filed after an Iowa man slipped and fell inside one of their establishments. Slip and fall injuries in stores and restaurants are very common, however, this case is unique in that the injured man slipped on peanut shells that were intentionally left on the floor. That’s right, this particular restaurant chain is known for serving meals with a side of free dry roasted peanuts and allowing patrons to throw their empty peanut shells on the floor.

The Des Moines Register reports that the injured man slipped and fell on peanuts and/or peanut shells left of the floor of the restaurant and shattered his knee. The man’s lawsuit claims that the peanut debris created an extremely dangerous condition that was made worse by the fact that the restaurant’s flooring is made of a materials that repels the peanut oils rather than absorbing them. The lawsuit also argues that restaurant employees contributed to creating the dangerous environment by routinely throwing leftover peanut shells onto the floor themselves and encouraging their customers to do the same.

The personal injury suit asks for money damages to compensate the man for his physical injuries, medical expenses, and lost earning capacity. Additionally, the man is also asking for punitive damages (i.e. damages award to punish the defendant) if the court finds that the restaurant chain should have known that the peanut shells were a slipping hazard.

Other Slip And Fall Lawsuits Caused By Floor Peanuts

According to the Des Moines Register this isn’t the first time that this particular chain has gotten into legal trouble over its peanut policy. In 2008 a woman from Texas fractured her kneecap after slipping on floor peanuts and the steakhouse chain was ordered to pay $43,000 in damages over the restaurant’s argument that the peanut shells were ‘open and obvious’ and that the woman therefore should have been aware of them. Additionally, another woman filed a slip and fall claim against the chain in 2013 and obtained an out of court settlement.

Proving Negligence In Slip And Fall Cases

Each state has its own set of negligence laws that govern slip and fall cases within the state. Essentially, plaintiffs who want to win their negligence claim must prove all of the following elements in their case:

  • Duty: That the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care,
  • Breach: That the defendant breached that duty,
  • Causation: That but for the defendant’s breach the injury would not have occurred and that the breach was what actually caused the injury, and
  • Damages: That the plaintiff was injured.

How Can We Help?

If you have been injured due to the wrongful acts of another, contact the Noyes Law Office, P.C. today for a free consultation. Our experienced Southeast Iowa personal injury lawyers are happy to assist you and can be reached toll free at (800) 875-7148.

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