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Hambright v. First Baptist Church-Eastwood

638 So. 2d 865 (1994)

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Hambright v. First Baptist Church-Eastwood

Alabama Supreme Court

638 So. 2d 865 (1994)

Facts

Minnie Hambright (plaintiff) was a member of the choir at Ebenezer Baptist Church. Hambright and the other members of the Ebenezer choir were invited to sing at the First Baptist Church-Eastwood (defendant) anniversary service. The service was open to the public, and all attendees were invited to a lunch held in the First Baptist fellowship hall before the service. Hambright went to the lunch, and she almost slipped near the buffet table when getting her food. After eating, Hambright slipped again on the fellowship hall floor when she was going to visit relatives present at the service, and she injured herself. Hambright filed a premises-liability action against First Baptist, arguing that because she was asked to sing at the service, she was an invitee and not a licensee. During discovery, deposition testimony established that no one noticed a foreign substance on the floor, and the person who waxed the floor used routine waxing and buffing methods, although he was not sure whether the wax he used was intended for tile floors. Hambright submitted testimony from a witness who said the floor was “oily like,” and a report from a product-testing firm that stated the floor had an abnormally low friction coefficient with Hambright’s vinyl shoe and Hambright’s skirt had wax on it. The trial court granted First Baptist’s motion for summary judgment, holding that Hambright was a licensee and First Baptist did not breach its duty to her.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ingram, J.)

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