On October 7, 2015 Harrison County Circuit Judge Chris Schmidt directed a verdict for the defendant in a slip and fall trial (Moore v. Rouses Enterprises). Here is the Court’s Order Directing Verdict.
Plaintiff alleged that she slipped and fell as a result of a leaking freezer in the Rouses supermarket on Pass Road near Cowan Road in Gulfport. Plaintiff alleged approximately $6,000 in medical damages. Plaintiff did not undergo any surgeries and x-rays confirmed that she did not have any fractures as a result of her alleged fall. Additionally, Plaintiff did not offer a medical causation expert at trial. Finally, Plaintiff and her witnesses were unable to identify the source of the water that allegedly caused her to slip and fall.
Rouses defended the case by showing that at least two employees conducted inspections of the area where Plaintiff allegedly fell no more than 35 minutes prior to her alleged fall (the exact time of her fall was in question). There was no evidence that the freezer leaked before Plaintiff’s alleged fall or that Rouses had actual knowledge of the freezer leaking.
Following two days of trial, after Plaintiff rested, Rouses moved for directed verdict on two issues: (1) medical causation; and (2) failure to satisfy the burden of proof in premises liability/slip and fall cases.
Judge Schmidt granted Rouses’ Motion for Directed Verdict based on Plaintiff’s failure to show Rouses had actual or constructive knowledge of the alleged hazardous condition and the fact that there was no evidence that Rouses caused the water to be on the floor prior to Ms. Moore’s fall. Judge Schmidt denied Rouses’ Motion for Directed Verdict on the issue of medical causation of as moot.
Rouses did not make a settlement offer in the case.
Adam Hays with Manion Gaynor and Manning in Hattiesburg represented Rouses. Carol Henderson represented the Plaintiff.