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Woman cannot sue after fall in convenience store

Monette Davis was hurt when she slipped in a puddle in front of the cashier's station.  She said she  was watching where she was walking but did not notice the puddle.  The weather outside was slushy and the store's rugs were slushy and wet.  She claimed that the store should be responsible for failing to address the hazardous and slippery wet floor.

Unfortunately for her, she drew an appeals panel of Republican appointees including Kirsten F. Kelly. Her odds of winning an appeal before this pro-insurance panel were about the same as the survival odds of that infamous snowball in the netherworld.  surviving. The appellate judges ruled that her case could be summarily dismissed because, EVEN LOOKING AT THE CASE "IN THE LIGHT MOST FAVORABLE TO THE NON-MOVING PARTY" (I.e., from Davis's perspective), she should have seen the puddle and the store employee's had no duty to address it.

The judges acknowledged that the storekeeper must exercise reasonable prudence to render its premises reasonably safe for customers, but held that they were not obligated to notice a puddle that they deemed "open and obvious"--even though they considered the "slushy" outside weather to be a warning to customers that they might encounter a wet floor.  So, let's think about this:  bad weather, slushy rugs and floors, and a big puddle that a visitor must notice on casual inspection: but there is no evidence to put on notice the party in possession who owes a duty to notice the hazard and to remedy it.

This is simply an appellate court making its own (prohibited) judgment about comparative fault.  And its intelleectually dishonest.

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