Mississippi Supreme Court Rules Against Pedestrian in Parking Lot Trip-and-Fall Case

Posted in Personal Injury on October 6, 2014

Earlier this year, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Imperial Palace Casino in a suit alleging that the casino was negligent for failing to maintain safe premises.

seattle-night-797377-mThe Facts of the Case

In the case, Jones v. Imperial Palace of Mississippi, the plaintiff tripped and fell in the parking lot of the casino. The plaintiff was walking in the small space that was between the garage wall and the front of the parking spaces when he tripped on a parking bumper that he alleged was misaligned and protruded into the pathway.

At Trial and on Appeal to the Intermediate Court

At trial, the court started off by noting that the plaintiff was an “invitee” on the premises and thus was owed a certain duty of care. Specifically, the casino was required to “to keep the premises reasonably safe and when not reasonably safe to warn only where there is hidden danger or peril that is not in plain and open view.”

However, the lower court judge dismissed the case, explaining that there was no evidence that the casino caused the bumper to be misaligned, nor that the casino even knew that it was misaligned. The plaintiff appealed to the intermediate court.

The intermediate court reversed the trial court’s judgment, finding that there was a valid question as to whether the casino “possessed actual as well as constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition, and whether it had failed to conduct reasonable inspections.”

On Appeal to the Highest Court

In front of the state supreme court, the case was again reversed, this time in favor of the defendants. The Supreme Court of Mississippi found that, while the plaintiff was an invitee, he did not produce any evidence that, even if the casino did conduct an investigation into the safety of the garage, such an investigation would have uncovered the misaligned bumper.

The Court was focused on one fact in particular:  that the plaintiff did not submit any evidence indicating how long the bumper had been misaligned. In other words, how could a jury assess the reasonableness of the casino’s conduct if there was no evidence as to how long the parking bumper had been misaligned?

Have You Been Injured in a Tennessee Slip-and-Fall Accident?

The above case took place in Mississippi, but Tennessee has premises liability laws that are similar to those in Mississippi. Thus, if you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident in Tennessee, you may be entitled to monetary damages, depending on the facts of the case. As you can see, however, business owners often employ skilled legal counsel to defend them from these kinds of suits, in hopes of avoiding having to pay out large sums of money. Therefore, it is advised that you contact counsel of your own before attempting to bring a case. Call 615-200-1111 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated Tennessee personal injury attorney today to discuss your case.

See Related Blog Posts:

Possible DUI Accident Claims One Man’s Life in Cheatham County, Nashville Injury Lawyer’s Blog, published August 18, 2014.

New Analytical Tool Helps Law Enforcement Predict Where Accidents Will Occur, Nashville Injury Lawyer’s Blog, published September 18, 2014.