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Wallace v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Georgia Court of Appeals
612 S.E.2d 528 (2005)


Facts

Karen Wallace and her husband (plaintiffs) were customers in a store operated by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (defendant). Wallace was walking toward the produce section when she slipped on a grape and fell. As a result of the fall, Wallace broke her hip and injured her back. Wallace and her husband sued Wal-Mart for negligence. Two Wal-Mart employees testified that they had walked through the area approximately 15 to 20 minutes before the fall and did not notice a grape on the floor. The testimony of the Wal-Mart employees also established that they were trained to continually inspect and clean the floor and perform a zone-defense inspection about every hour. One of the employees testified that both employees had just finished putting bananas out on the shelf when they heard a call for help after Wallace fell. The other employee testified that she was actually stocking produce in the salad section when she heard the call for help. While Wallace was on the ground, a Wal-Mart manager came over to help as well. Wallace’s husband stated that he saw an employee place her foot over the grape to try to hide it. He told her to move her foot off of the grape. Wal-Mart filed a motion for summary judgment, which was granted by the trial court. Wallace and her husband appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Mikell, J.)

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