Friday, October 19, 2012

Thoma v. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. case brief

Thoma v. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, INC. (1995)
649 So. 2d 277

Procedural History
•    Appellant challenged an order from the Circuit Court for Leon County (Florida), in which the court granted appellee’s motion for summary judgment dismissing appellant’s slip and fall complaint.

•    Appellant brought suit against appellee seeking to recover for injuries she sustained in a slip and fall. Appellee filed a motion for summary judgment, which was granted, and appellant challenged that order.

•    To recover for injuries incurred in a slip and fall accident, plaintiff must show that the premises owner either created a dangerous condition or had actual or constructive knowledge of a dangerous condition.

•    Notice of a dangerous condition may be established by circumstantial evidence, such as evidence leading to an inference that a substance has been on the floor for a sufficient length of time such that in the exercise of reasonable care the condition should have become known to the premises owner.

•    The appeals court reversed the grant of summary judgment in appellee’s favor on appellant’s complaint for negligence. The appeals court held that it was for a jury to decide whether appellant could establish by a preponderance of the evidence that appellee created a dangerous condition in its establishment

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