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Man who slipped on grease survives summary disposition and will have trial on the merits

Frank Salo sued Kroger after he slipped and fell backwards on a grease spot in the deli section of the supermarket.  After falling, he observed a 25' trail of grease, 3-4 inches wide, leading away from a chicken rotisserie.  He tesified it was obvious from his position on the floor but "barely visible" from a standing position. Tte Manager indicated that sshe nearly stepped in the trail of grease that was light gray on a "whitish" floor.  The Defendant also conceded that the grease would be "clear" in color--and slippery--after it cooled.

The trial judge ruled that Salo could not sue Kroger because the grease hazard was "open and obvious" and therefore Kroger owed no duty to correct it.  Salo appealed and the higher court agreed with the trial judge that Salo could not argue that an employee was negligent in creating or failing to respond to the grease--which was a "condition of the premises."  Nevertheless, the Court overturned the summary disposition, finding it to be a jury question with regard to whether the grease was "readily apparent to a casual observer" and therefore "open and obvious."

One Republican judge dissented from the Court's opinion.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
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Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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