In some Texas personal injury cases, it is difficult to know which theory of recovery to pursue. In Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation v. Mansfield, a manufacturer appealed from a judgment in a product liability case that on the surface might have looked like a slip and fall. A jury had found that the product, which was a bag of frozen chicken, had a manufacturing defect when it was sold to a retail grocer.
While shopping at the retail grocer, a customer slipped and fell on liquid that leaked through the defective bag of chicken. The store manager helped her get up, and she stated she thought she was okay and wouldn’t need an ambulance. The manager filled out an accident report on the store form, noting that the customer had slipped on blood that came through a leak in the bag of chicken while she was pushing her grocery cart.
At trial. the store manager testified that he noticed there was a trail of liquid spots behind the plaintiff’s cart just after the accident, and that he’d inspected the bag as well. He took the bag to the meat department, noticing that the bag was open, not just torn or cut. The meat department manager and his assistant also noticed that the corner of the bag was unsealed. The manager testified there was an opening at the bag’s seam, a defective seal, which allowed the liquid to leak.
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