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Too Late to Mop Up Baby Puke Suit Against Target

(CN) - A jury should determine whether Target is liable to a woman who slipped and fell on baby vomit in a story aisle, a federal judge ruled, finding enough evidence for trial in video that shows Target employees standing near the mess.

Nadyne Timberlake was walking into the department store on Monument Road in Philadelphia when she slipped and fell, injuring her right wrist, pinky finger and left knee. Surveillance video shows a baby vomiting near one of the store's entrances at 2:48 p.m., depositing what Timberlake described as "a clear liquid puddle the size of a salad plate with a pinkish substance the size of a fifty-cent piece in the middle." A Target employee said it looked like a "12-inch by 8-inch, or so, spill."

Other employees can be seen on the video walking and standing near the puddle during the seven minutes that passed between the time the baby vomited and the time Timberlake hit the floor. Timberlake filed suit, and Target moved for dismissal.

U.S. District Judge Gene Pratter refused to dismiss Wednesday.

Although "seven minutes is certainly a short time period, this not the type of case that would require the jury to resort to 'conjecture, guess or suspicion' such that the court should undertake the weighing of the facts on its own, particularly where the facts include information beyond simply the elapsed time, i.e., the presence of Target employees," he wrote. "Rather, this case involves precisely the type of factual analysis that is best suited for a jury."

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