Slip and Fall Cases in Alaska

In Edenshaw v. Safeway, the Alaska Supreme Court addressed, by way of a certified question from the U.S. District Court of Alaska, the question of whether in a slip and fall case plaintiff must show actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition.

Not much in the way of facts provided for this case. Plaintiff slipped and fell at a Carr’s store in 2003 (apparently Carr’s is owned by Safeway). Safeway’s lawyers moved for summary judgment, which was denied.

The court found that the Alaska test is a basic reasonableness test. Under this test, the owner’s notice of a dangerous condition was a factor to consider but not issue determinative. Accordingly, Alaska defense lawyer cannot argue in slip and fall cases that actual or constructive knowledge is required to defeat summary judgment, at least not in tightly controlled areas like a grocery store.


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