Attorneys Kevin Moloughney, Christopher Petrick, and Erin Rodenhouse obtained summary disposition on behalf of a premises owner in a negligence case in Oakland County Circuit Court


Plaintiff was a patron at a local movie theater who slipped and fell in a concession line near the entrance of the theater.  During discovery evidence established that it had been raining hard the day of Plaintiff’s fall.  Additionally, surveillance video was produced which showed at least three wet floor signs in the entrance and concession area of the theater.  Plaintiff also testified that she observed people in front of her slip, but catch themselves.  Despite slowing down, plaintiff ultimately fell within a few feet of a warning sign.

Kevin, Chris, and Erin argued that although Plaintiff’s Complaint alleged a claim of negligence, her claim sounded in premises liability only, and that summary disposition was warranted because the premises owner had fulfilled its duty to warn the plaintiff of the slippery floors, and the condition was open and obvious.  The Court agreed, and found that the placement of multiple yellow wet floor signs throughout the lobby of the theater, coupled with the fact that it had been raining outside, would place a reasonable person on notice that the floor could be slippery throughout the lobby, not just in the area of the signs.  The Court also held that the evidence conclusively established that the hazard was open an obvious upon casual inspection, such that an average person of ordinary intelligence should have noticed that the floor was slippery and taken steps to avoid it.  The Court dismissed Plaintiff’s claim in its entirety, and also denied a motion for leave to file an amended Complaint adding an additional count of premises liability, finding it would be futile.

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