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A judge ruled last week that a Wal-Mart department manager and employee cannot be held liable for negligence in the case of a woman who filed a slip and fall lawsuit after slipping on spilled birdseed in the store. Margaret Benjamin named Wal-Mart and the employees as defendants, but the judge decided the employees did not have enough control over the running of the business to be held responsible.

In this case, there is no legal possibility of a successful claim against the pet department manager or the inventory clerk because there was no evidence they negligently caused the dangerous condition of the bird seed on the floor, the judge ruled. Therefore, in the absence of proof of negligent hiring, training or supervision of the employees, they cannot be held liable for Benjamin’s alleged injuries, the judge concluded.

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