Austin v. Walgreen Co., No. 17-2629 (7th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Austin spent time at a Hebron, Indiana Walgreens store, walked toward the registers, then slipped and fell. Austin did not see anything on the floor that would have caused the fall and testified: “my right foot hit something wet, and all of my weight landed on my left knee. I went down, all my weight on my left knee, and then immediately fell backwards.” People who came to Austin’s assistance did not see anything on the floor. The assistant manager testified that he was not aware of any water on the floor before Austin’s fall. Austin’s friend arrived seven minutes after Austin fell, observed “water everywhere,” and took pictures showing puddles of water in the area where Austin had fallen. Paramedics recorded that Austin told them she slipped on a wet floor. At the medical center, the doctor noted that Austin told him “she slipped on water.” Austin suffered a broken kneecap. A magistrate struck her statements to the paramedics and the doctor as inadmissible hearsay and granted Walgreen summary judgment. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. Even assuming Austin has sufficient evidence that there was a hazard on the floor, she did not present any evidence that Walgreen had actual or constructive knowledge of it, so she did not establish a breach of the duty of care.