Defense Wins: No Evidence of Defect

Another Defense Wins victory to share. This one is a actually comical.

The plaintiff claimed she was hit on the right side of her face and the right shoulder by a case of water bottles that fell from the top of a water bottle display in a store. In fact, she said 2- 3 cases came falling down for some unknown reason. We can all envision is situation where this could occur, but wait, there’s more.

The tower from where the cases fell was about 4 feet from the plaintiff and she claims the case was about 5-6 feet high. She admitted the display looked to be in good order when she walked up to it with none of the towers of water being out of place and none of the cases about to fall over. The store actually used an interlocking stacking method that is quite typical so the towers are sturdy.

Just before the incident, the plaintiff asked someone standing next to her to hand her a case from a low stack of cases. The plaintiff turned to her right and was about to take the case when the other cases allegedly fell from the tall tower in the back. The plaintiff claimed no one touched the tall tower or did anything to make it fall.

So here is how the plaintiff claims the event took place:

  • She turned completely to her RIGHT so she was facing her RIGHT;
  • the case fell from 5-6 feet up
  • the case hit her on the RIGHT side of her face

For this to have taken place, the case would have needed to fly straight out 4 feet and then flown around the plaintiff’s head and then hit her on the right side of her face. The store manager testified that was not likely to have taken place (and he said it with a straight face)!

The judge ordered there was no evidence of any defect or dangerous condition as to the display. The plaintiff argued the mere fact she was hit with a case of water was sufficient to prove the display was dangerous but the court disagreed. Summary judgment was granted.

You can’t make this stuff up.