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Don't bother making your property safe for customers

    In another example of the mis-use of the "open and obvious" doctrine, the Court of Appeals in Cameron v. Big Boy applied the Supreme Court's prior holdings to immunize a restaurant from paying for the damages it caused to a patron who was entering.  The patron entered the front door on January 2 and fell in the commmon foyer on a wet floor tile. The injured customer said he did not notice a wet floor sign, because as he entered, his attention was immediately drawn to a leak in the ceiling above the door.

    The Court conceded that the restaurant owed its customer a duty to maintain the restaurant in a "reasonably safe condition", but held that simply putting a sign in the foyer was more than adequate--since the wet floor was an "open and obvious" hazard.  The patron was free to turn around and leave and should not have been distracted by any other factors:  if he was distracted, a "casual observer" would not have been, according to the Court. 

     Since a reasonable "casual observer" would have been alerted to the "TREACHEROUS" CONDITION,  the Restaurant was under no duty to fix it or alleviate the hazard.  Yes, the Court  actually held that maintaining a "treacherous" condition is consistent with a duty to maintain a "reasonably safe" premise.

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