Foreign Substance on Oregon Business Property
In Oregon, a business owner is not liable simply because someone is injured on business proeprty. Uniform Civil Jury Instruction 46.12 outlines one must prove for the business owner to be liabile:
If the plaintiff claims injury due to slipping on a foreign substance on the floor of the business owner/defendant, the plaintiff must prove one of the following:
(1) The substance was placed there by the defendant; or
(2) The defendant knew that the substance was there and failed to use reasonable care to remove it; or
(3) The substance had been there so long that the defendant should, in the exercise of reasonable care, have discovered and removed it.
Example 1: Customer 1 spills a drink on the floor and tells nobody. 30 seconds later, customer 2 slips and falls as a result of the spill. In this case, the business owner is likely not liable because it was customer 1 that negligently spilled a drink, failed to warn anyone or clean up the mess.
Example 2: An employee of the business spills a liquid on the floor of the business. The employee fails to post a warning sign or clean up the mess. Later, customer slips and falls. In this case the business would be liable because an employee spilled the liquid on the floor and failed to clean up the spill or warn of the spill until it could be cleaned.
Example 3: Customer 1 spills a drink on the floor and promptly lets an employee of the business know. Business employee does nothing. Later, customer slips and falls. In this case the business would be liable because the employee failed to clean the spill.
Example 4: Customer 1 spills a drink on the floor. It sits there for 3 days and becomes sticky. Later, customer slips and falls. In this case the business is liable because they should have noticed a spill that had been there for so long that it started to partially dry and become sticky.