J. Robb Cruser and James Reeves Secure Summary Judgment in Slip and Fall Case

Robb Cruser and James Reeves secured summary judgment in a premises liability case in the State Court of Henry County, Georgia. The plaintiff, after dining at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, slipped and fell as she was walking out of the restaurant. Approximately ten minutes before the plaintiff’s fall, the store manager and an employee had cleaned up a spill near the dining section entrance and, as is their normal practice, “placed a bright yellow, wet floor sign near the entrance of the dining section to warn individuals of residual water on the floor left over from the clean-up of a prior spill.”

It was undisputed and confirmed by photographs that a wet floor sign was present at the time of the plaintiff’s fall, and Cruser Mitchell attorneys argued that this triggered the “plain view” doctrine: Since the plaintiff had constructive knowledge of the alleged water hazard – by virtue of the plain view doctrine – the threshold requirement of the defendant having superior knowledge was not met. And the plaintiff’s failure to see the bright yellow wet floor sign confirmed her failure to exercise ordinary care for her own safety, barring her claims. The judge agreed and granted the Motion for Summary Judgment.

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