James Hankins and Samantha Mullis recently won summary judgment in a case involving a customer that allegedly tripped and fell down a set of concrete stairs in front of the their client’s store. In Michael Kearse v. Family Dollar, Mr. Kearse filed suit against Family Dollar and one of its employees, asserting claims of failure to maintain safe premises and failure to warn. Early in the case, James and Samantha obtained summary judgment for the employee, arguing he was an improper party to the case. After completing discovery, James and Samantha filed for summary judgment, arguing no hazard existed on the premises and Mr. Kearse’s knowledge of the alleged hazard at least equaled that of Family Dollar. In response, Mr. Kearse argued a hazard existed on the premises and that Family Dollar had superior knowledge of problems with the stairs. Additionally, Mr. Kearse argued Family Dollar spoliated the video from the surveillance camera system, and thus, he argued summary judgment was improper. The trial court ultimately agreed with James and Samantha and it found the stairs constituted an open and obvious static defect that Mr. Kearse had equal knowledge of based on him walking up the stairs shortly before the incident.
You can read more on this case by clicking HERE.