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Peanut shell restaurant litter cited as cause in injury suit

Nearly every city in Pennsylvania likely has one of these kinds of places; a restaurant-bar operation that serves peanuts in the shell as a snack. In an effort to promote a relaxed atmosphere, patrons are allowed to just toss their shells on the floor.

That might be an OK practice to follow at a ball park or arena where the surface under foot is typically concrete. But it may be a bad idea in a casual sports bar or restaurant where the floors tend to be smoother; like linoleum. On floors like that, peanut shells tend to just make the surface more slick and a slip and fall hazard.

If someone suffers an accident in such conditions, they shouldn't have to just buck up and get through it. Owners have an obligation to keep their premises safe. Victims who suffer preventable accidents deserve to be compensated for whatever suffering they endure; physical injury, mental anguish, medical costs or wage losses. Consulting an attorney is how to determine if a case has merit.

That determination has already been made in one case out of Texas. In it, a woman is seeking $1 million for the pain and suffering she has undergone because of a March visit to a Harlingen restaurant.

Her claim is that she slipped and fell because of all the peanut shells that were on the floor. Her suit alleges that the situation represented an unreasonable hazard and that restaurant and its workers were negligent for not cleaning up the shells or warning her about the possible hazard.

The restaurant is denying the accusations. The matter is now headed for federal court and a jury trial. 

Source:, "Woman says peanuts caused fall, injuries," Emma Perez-Trevino, Valley Morning Star, July 26, 2013

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