SUMMARY JUDGMENT & OPEN / OBVIOUS DANGER - SMITH V. WELLS FARGO BANK NA
Smith v. Wells Fargo Bank NA, [Ms. 2150715, Nov. 4, 2016] __ So.3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2016). The court reverses a summary judgment entered by the Jefferson Circuit Court in a premises liability case upon concluding that jury questions were presented on whether the premises owner had actual or constructive knowledge of defects in a chair that failed and injured the plaintiff.
" 'A condition is "open and obvious" when it is "known to the [plaintiff] or should have been observed by the [plaintiff] in the exercise of reasonable care." Quillen v. Quillen, 388 So. 2d 985, 989 (Ala. 1980). "The entire basis of [a store owner's] liability rests upon [its] superior knowledge of the danger which causes the [customer's] injuries. Therefore, if that superior knowledge is lacking, as when the danger is obvious, the [store owner] cannot be held liable." Id. (citation omitted).'"
Horne v. Gregerson's Foods, Inc., 849 So. 2d 173, 176 (Ala. Civ. App. 2002) (quoting Denmark v. Mercantile Stores Co., 844 So. 2d 1189, 1194 (Ala. 2002)).
" '[q]uestions of openness and obviousness of a defect or danger and of an [invitee's] knowledge are generally not to be resolved on a motion for summary judgment.' Harding v. Pierce Hardy Real Estate, 628 So. 2d 461, 463 (Ala. 1993). See also Woodward [ v. Health Care Auth. of Huntsville, 727 So. 2d 814 (Ala. Civ. App. 1998)]. Additionally, 'this Court has indicated that even though a defect is open and obvious, an injured invitee is not barred from recovery where the invitee, acting reasonably, did not appreciate the danger of the defect.' Young v. La Quinta Inns, Inc., 682 So. 2d 402, 404 (Ala. 1996)."
Ex parte Kraatz, 775 So. 2d 801, 804 (Ala. 2000).
Related Documents: Smith v. Wells Fargo Bank