Mega Supermarket Coming to Oldham County

by | Jun 16, 2022 | Injuries

After years of delays, officials finally broke ground on a $30 million, 100,000 square foot Super Kroger in Buckner.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, who attended the groundbreaking, predicted the new Kroger would be a game-changer for the community. “I know everybody’s been to a Kroger, and I know you’ve never seen one that doesn’t have other businesses all around it,” he said. “It is a magnet that is going to create additional economic development opportunities and for every potential business that you bring in this community, it’s gonna provide more amenities, more opportunity and, once they move here and add more jobs, a place where all those families can get their groceries,” he added.

David Bizianes, Oldham Chamber and Economic Development president, pointed out that the new Kroger is just part of the ongoing economic development in the region. Other projects include a new nursing home in Oldham City and a new hospital in Crestwood.

Grocery Store Falls

Large grocery stores that attract thousands of people are convenient and dangerous. Indoor and outdoor falls are the most common kinds of injuries at grocery stores. Usually, the store is legally responsible for these injuries. More on that below.

First, let’s talk about some of the serious injuries these victims sustain. Common slip and fall injuries at grocery stores include:

  • Broken Arms: When people fall, they naturally extend their arms to break their falls. This reaction usually causes more injuries than it prevents. When victims break their arm bones, surgeons typically use metal parts to reconstruct them. That invasive surgery means a higher cost and a longer recovery period.
  • Head Injuries: Arm bones aren’t the only broken bones. Frequently, fall victims also break their skulls, an injury which could cause brain bleeding. Additionally, the motion of a fall and a hard landing causes the brain to repeatedly slam against the inside of the skull.
  • Emotional Injuries: Serious physical injuries usually have emotional consequences. Many grocery store fall victims are so afraid of falling again that they turn into recluses. Ironically, that lack of activity adversely affects their coordination, which increases risk of a future fall.

These injuries are even more severe if, as is often the case, the victim has a pre-existing condition. Even if such a condition contributed to the risk of a fall or the severity of the injuries, a Lexington personal injury lawyer is usually able to obtain maximum compensation in these cases.

This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages might be available as well, in some extreme cases.

Establishing Liability

This compensation is available if the property owner had a duty of care and the property owner knew, or should have known, about the injury-causing hazard.

The basic elements are normally straightforward in grocery store fall injury claims. Grocery store shoppers, vendors, and employees are all invitees in Kentucky. Therefore, the owner has a duty of care to ensure the grocery store, and the property outside the store, is reasonably safe. Additionally, owners must perform frequent interior and exterior safety inspections.

Victims may use direct or circumstantial evidence to prove actual or constructive knowledge. Lawyers usually uncover smoking guns, like restroom cleaning reports, during discovery. If no smoking guns are present, that’s okay. A Lexington personal injury lawyer can use the time-notice rule to establish constructive knowledge (should have known).

Identifying the responsible party, another important part of establishing liability, is often more difficult.

The new Kroger in Buckner will include a first aid clinic, a Starbucks, and a gas station. Usually, independent entities like these aren’t legally part of the supermarket. Instead, these entities are responsible for health and safety in their little area of Kroger. Exact terms vary in different leases.

Outdoor falls have similar issues. As mentioned, the governor predicted that new businesses would sprout up around the new Kroger. Usually, individual businesses, including Kroger, are responsible for health and safety in the common areas adjacent to their stores. The shopping mall owner is usually responsible for other common areas. Once again, the terms vary in different situations.

Possible Defenses

In 2020, Kroger earned over $135 billion. So, the retail giant has plenty of money to hire high-priced lawyers and fight fall injury claims. Common defenses in these cases include the open and obvious doctrine and comparative fault.

The open and obvious rule is rather limited in Kentucky. O&O hazards include aisle displays, colored liquid, and ice patches. This defense also presents proof problems. Older fall victims can’t always see such hazards, especially if it’s dark outside. What’s open and obvious to one victim might be hidden and dangerous to another one.

Comparative fault basically shifts blame for a fall to the victim. If Eric slipped and fell on a piece of lettuce, a jury might conclude that the store should’ve picked up the piece of lettuce and that Eric should have watched where he was going. In Kentucky, victims are usually eligible for compensation, even if they were partially or mostly at fault for the injury.

Injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lexington, contact the Goode Law Office, PLLC. We routinely handle matters in Fayette County and nearby jurisdictions.