Woman who slipped in puddle of oil cannot make injury claim
Jacqueline Brooks sued the Bruce Campbell Dodge dealership after she slipped in a puddle of oil on the floor and fell. She was getting out of her vehicle in the dealership service area when her foot slipped in a puddle "the size of two gallon pails." The Court held that it was her duty to casually inspect where she was stepping, and that if she had done so, she would have avoided stepping in the oil and falling. Since the oil spill was apparent to someone making a casual inspection, it was considered "open and obvious," the dealership owed no duty to clean it up, and Brooks could not sue for her injuries.Brooks argued that she was instructed to park directly over the puddles, rendering them difficult for her to see from inside her SUV. The Court of Appeals held--apparently deciding a factual issue of credibility--that "the record did not support this claim." The holding bears all the earmarks of a Richard Bandstra decision: this judge will always find in favor of an insurer and against a victim.