Pettit Kohn Los Angeles Team Wins Summary Judgment on Behalf of Large National Retailer in Premises Liability Case

Pettit Kohn Ingrassia Lutz & Dolin litigation attorneys Andrew O. Smith and Rebecca N. Herman obtained a summary judgment on behalf of a national retail client in a slip-and-fall case in Federal District Court in California. 

Plaintiff initially sought $1.25 million dollars in damages after she slipped and fell in a high-traffic aisle on the retailer’s premises. She claimed injuries to her neck, back, and shoulder. Plaintiff had a lumbar fusion surgery and contended that a future shoulder surgery was necessary. Plaintiff alleged that there was a spill in the area of the fall and that the Defendant failed to clean the area or provide notification of the dangerous condition.

Video of the incident area demonstrated that multiple individuals including a store employee walked through the aisle, passing over or close to the area four minutes prior to the Plaintiff’s fall, without incident. Defendant argued that Plaintiff could not establish the Defendant had constructive notice of the spill. Plaintiff attempted to create a triable issue of fact through expert testimony that the inspections performed by the Defendant’s employees were inadequate. Ms. Herman carefully constructed the Defendant’s motion for summary judgment to demonstrate that the inspections were reasonable as a matter of law. The District Court Judge agreed with the Defendant and granted its summary judgment motion. As a result, Plaintiff’s claims against the Defendant were dismissed with prejudice.  

About Andrew O. Smith

Andrew O. Smith is a managing shareholder in Pettit Kohn’s Los Angeles office. Mr. Smith’s primary area of practice is retail and business litigation cases, and he has found success representing a wide range of businesses and entities in the areas of commercial, construction, and product liability matters. He has extensive trial and litigation experience and successfully manages complex cases while providing effective and cost-sensitive results for his clients. Andrew has been selected for inclusion in the 2021 and 2022 Southern California Super Lawyers® list as well as the Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars list in 2008 and 2010-2015. He is an active member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

About Rebecca N. Herman

Rebecca N. Herman works as Senior Counsel in Pettit Kohn’s Los Angeles office. She focuses her practice on a wide range of matters, including business litigation, retail, and transportation. She has experience litigating a variety of cases, including insurance defense, general liability and employment matters, as well as representation of public entities, officials, and individual officers, in cases involving allegations of civil rights violations. Ms. Herman has aggressively and successfully utilized both procedural and substantive law to obtain dismissals of her cases by way of law and motion. She has also defended officers and individuals in federal and state jury trials, which have included claims of unlawful arrest, excessive force, retaliation, as well as state tort claims. Ms. Herman is a member of the State Bar of California and the United States District Court, Central District of California.

About Pettit Kohn Ingrassia Lutz & Dolin

Pettit Kohn Ingrassia Lutz & Dolin PC is a leading AV-rated, full-service trial firm with expertise in litigating and resolving civil matters in both state and federal courts. The firm represents clients in the areas of Appellate, Business Litigation, Community Association Litigation, Employment & Labor, Personal Injury, Product Liability, Professional Liability, Real Estate Litigation, Restaurant & Hospitality, Retail, Transactional & Business Services, Transportation, and Trial & Civil Litigation. Clients include large and mid-sized corporations, privately held businesses, institutions, and individuals. Pettit Kohn is located in California and Arizona with offices in San Diego, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Tucson. Learn more about the firm at