In California, when an employee negligently creates a dangerous condition on the premises of their employer and fails to correct it, the employee’s knowledge of the dangerous condition is imputed to the employer. Employers are vicariously liable for the negligence of their employees while they are working. In Perez v. Hibachi Buffet, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. B304824, the Court of Appeal considered a case to determine whether a jury’s verdict in favor of a plaintiff who had been injured in a slip and fall in spilled liquid in a hallway was based on a reasonable inference instead of impermissible speculation.
Factual and Procedural Background
Hibachi Buffet is a restaurant with seating for 200 guests. Jorge Perez was a customer who went to the restaurant for lunch. During his visit, he walked up a hallway to the restroom and adjusted his dentures. When he entered the hallway to go to the restroom, the floor tiles were dry. After he left the restroom, there was a spill of liquid on the hallway floor that he slipped in and fell hard on the tiled surface, sustaining serious injuries.