Adam Hays, Partner in the Hattiesburg office of MG+M, won a directed verdict for the defense on behalf of firm client Rouse’s Enterprises, LLC (Rouse’s), in Moore v. Rouse’s Enterprises, a slip-and-fall premises liability case.
Rouse’s is a large supermarket chain which operates nearly fifty stores in three states. The plaintiff in the case sued for medical damages after alleging that she fell as a result of a leaking freezer at a Rouse’s store in Gulfport, Mississippi. At the jury trial, the plaintiff admitted that she did not undergo any surgeries or X-rays after the alleged incident, and stated that she did not have any fractures as a result of her fall. Additionally, the plaintiff’s attorney, Carol Henderson, did not offer a single medical causation expert while presenting her case.
In defense of Rouse’s, Adam showed that two store employees had inspected the area of the freezer no more than thirty-five minutes prior to the time of the alleged fall, and established that there was no evidence of a freezer leak, or that Rouse’s had any knowledge of the freezer leaking.
When the plaintiff rested, Adam moved for a directed verdict on behalf of Rouse’s based on the plaintiff’s failure to satisfy the burden of proof for a premises liability case and a lack of evidence of any medical causation. After approximately forty-five minutes of argument and deliberation, the judge granted the motion based on the fact that there was no evidence that Rouse’s caused the water to be on the floor prior to the plaintiff’s alleged fall. Plaintiff’s counsel immediately filed a motion for reconsideration, but on January 13, 2016, the court denied the Plaintiff’s motion, confirming the firm’s victory on Rouse’s behalf.
Rouse’s did not make a settlement offer in the case. The full order denying the Plaintiff’s motion to reconsider is available here.