In a unanimous ruling Thursday, the California Supreme Court — in a case centered on a puddle of milk — concluded that store owners of all kinds can be held liable for dangerous conditions on their premises if they fail to clear up the hazard in a reasonable amount of time.

Injured plaintiffs will carry the burden of proving store owners’ failure to act, the court held, and jurors will resolve disputes on the facts of individual cases. A premium will be placed on proper maintenance by store owners, the court said.

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