Jones v. Imperial Palace of Mississippi, LLC, is a premises liability case in which plaintiff was walking through a casino parking garage when he was injured. Plaintiff was walking in the space between the wall and the front of the parking space when he tripped on a concrete parking bumper at the front of one of the spaces and fell to the concrete floor. It should be noted that the area in which he was walking was not designated for pedestrian travel, but there was nothing to indicate that pedestrian travel was prohibited in that area.
Plaintiff’s allegation is the concrete parking bumper was not properly aligned with the front of the parking space to the point where it was is in his path of travel and that the bumper was the actual and proximate cause of his injuries.
Our slip and fall attorneys in Greenville understand that these types of premises liability cases typically turn on the issue of whether defendant had notice of a condition that could foreseeably cause an injury to a foreseeable plaintiff. In other words, did the defendant know about the concrete bumper being misaligned, and was it likely that a person would be walking in that space and trip over it.
In Jones, defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, asking that the case be dismissed. The trial court granted this motion and plaintiff appealed. The state court of appeals reversed the trial court’s decision to grant the motion for summary judgment and remanded the case for a trial by jury. At this point, defendants filed a petition for a writ of certiorari, which was granted by the state supreme court. A writ of certiorari is a request that the higher appellate court accept a case for review.
In the appeal, both parties were in agreement that plaintiff was there as an invitee, due to the fact that he was a customer of the business. While the law is clear that a business owner who creates a dangerous condition is liable for any injury caused, the first question for the court was whether defendant caused the parking stop bumper misalignment. The court found that there was no evidence to support this allegation.
The next question for the court was whether defendant knew of the misalignment and failed to warn plaintiff. The record contained information from a deposed witness who was a security investigator who reported to his supervisor that some of the concrete bumpers were out of alignment.
The appellate court found that this was not sufficient notice, because defendant was never given notice that this specific bumper was misaligned. The court also found that there was no evidence as to how long this particular bumper was misaligned, so there was no way for a jury to determine if it was left in this condition, without inspection, for an unreasonably long period of time.
For all of the reasons just mentioned, the court ultimately reversed the ruling from the court of appeals and affirmed the trial court’s decision to grant defendant’s motion for summary judgment.
Contact the Greenville injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.
Jones v. Imperial Palace of Mississippi, LLC, September 18, 2014, Supreme Court of Mississippi
More Blog Entries:
Ainsworth v. Chandler: On Third Party Interveners in Premises Liability Cases, September 15, 2014, Greenville Personal Injury Lawyer Blog