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Lawskills.com Georgia Caselaw
ROGERS v. RANEW.
40295.
Action for damages. Sumter Superior Court. Before Judge Marshall.
JORDAN, Judge.
"Before an owner can be held liable for the slippery condition of his floors, produced by the presence of a foreign substance thereon, it is necessary that the proof should show that he was aware of the substance or would have known of its presence had he exercised reasonable care." Conaway v. McCrory Stores Corp., 82 Ga. App. 97, 101 (60 SE2d 631).
This is a suit to recover damages for personal injuries sustained by the plaintiff when she slipped and fell on the front porch of the defendant's home. Her petition alleged that the defendant operated a beauty parlor or hairdressing establishment in her home and that on the day of the occurrence complained of the plaintiff had visited the defendant's home for the purpose of conferring with the defendant with reference to a future appointment for the defendant's hairdressing services, and that after conferring with the defendant, the plaintiff proceeded to leave the home of the defendant and upon reaching the edge of the front porch, the plaintiff "stepped into or on some slick, slippery, waxy, greasy, colorless substance, which the defendant had allowed to accumulate and remain on said porch, on which substance plaintiff's foot slipped." The plaintiff alleged that she was unable to discover the presence of the substance through the exercise of ordinary care "because the same was not readily visible and blended with the natural coloring of the remainder of said porch floor."
The petition alleged, inter alia, that the defendant was negligent in placing, through herself or her employee or employees, said slippery substance on the edge of said porch, which plaintiff had to use, and which substance the defendant knew, or by the exercise of ordinary care could have known, rendered said porch dangerous and unsafe; and in failing to maintain properly the porch and steps to the defendant's residence, in which she maintained said beauty parlor, and in permitting said slippery substance to accumulate thereon.
The defendant's general and special demurrers to the petition were overruled and the case proceeded to trial before the court and jury. Upon the conclusion of the plaintiff's case, the defend ant made a motion for a nonsuit upon the grounds that there was no evidence of any substance being upon the floor of the defendant's porch as alleged in the petition; that there was no evidence that such substance as might have existed was on the porch as a result of the action of the defendant or her agents, servants or employees; and that there was no evidence that the defendant had any knowledge of the existence of such substance or in the exercise of ordinary care could have discovered the existence of such substance, if in fact the same did exist.
"Before an owner can be held liable for the slippery condition of his floors, produced by the presence of a foreign substance thereon, it is necessary that the proof should show that he was aware of the substance or would have known of its presence had he exercised reasonable care." Conaway v. McCrory Stores Corp., 82 Ga. App. 97, 101, supra.
The evidence adduced in behalf of the plaintiff in this regard disclosed nothing more than the fact that she slipped and fell on the edge of the front porch of the defendant's home as she was departing the premises after making a business appointment with the defendant, that she felt something slippery underfoot as she slipped and fell, but that she had seen nothing visible on the floor of the porch although the light was good and she was looking where she was walking. There was no evidence which disclosed, or from which the jury could infer, what the alleged substance was, how it had gotten on the floor, or how long it had been there. The plaintiff had used the same porch and steps while leaving the house some four hours earlier and did not see any substance on the floor or steps at that time.
Under these circumstances, the evidence was wholly insufficient to show, either directly or by inference, that the defendant was aware of the alleged substance on the floor of the porch or that she could have known of the same by the exercise of ordinary care, Cook v. Kroger Baking &c. Co., 65 Ga. App. 141 (15 SE2d 531), and the trial court did not err in granting a nonsuit in this case. Brown v. S. H. Kress Co., 66 Ga. App. 242 (17 SE2d 758).
Judgment affirmed. Nichols, P. J., and Frankum, J., concur.
Smith & Undercofler, William E. Smith, contra.
H. B. Williams, Charles Burgamy, for plaintiff in error.
DECIDED OCTOBER 1, 1963.
Friday May 22 22:29 EDT


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