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Louisiana's First Circuit Court of Appeal reversed a defense summary judgment on finding a genuine issue of material fact regarding constructive notice under the Merchant Liability Act (La. R.S. § 9:2800.6). See Foto v. Rouse's Enterprises, LLC, 2017-1601 (La.App. 1 Cir. 08/06/18). Evidence that a clear substance was on the floor of defendant's grocery store at least 10 minutes "was sufficient to constitute constructive notice."
Plaintiff testified that she was present in the aisle where she slipped between 9:30 a.m. and 9:40 a.m. During that time no other person was present in the aisle. Plaintiff slipped in a clear liquid substance that did not come from a product shelved in the area. Thus, the evidence supported a reasonable conclusion that the liquid was present for at least 10 minutes. Further, this was sufficient duration to give rise to a triable issue as to whether the defendant had constructive notice of the hazardous condition.
Concurring, Judge Crain writes:
With this evidence, granting defendant summary judgment requires the conclusion that ten minutes, as a matter of law, is not an unreasonable period for the condition to exist. While a very close call, I cannot reach that conclusion under the facts presented.
Posted: Aug. 8, 2018