Case No. A99A1899
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Varsha Mandiga on Thursday March 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to BUSA 2106 at Georgia State University taught by Grelecki in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 55 views.
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Date Created: 03/10/16
Varsha Mandiga KMART CORPORATION v. LARSEN et al. FACTS Case No. A99A1899. When: Decided: September 28, 1999 Where: Court of Appeals of Georgia. Who: Appellant Kinney, Kemp, Sponcler, Joiner & Tharpe, F. Gregory Melton, Dalton Appellees – Willis, McKenzie & Long, Charles J. Willis, LaGrange BLACKBURN, Judge. What: In this premises liability action, Kmart Corporation appeals, following a jury trial, from a judgment in favor of Kathryn and Vernon Larsen, contending the trial court erred by charging the jury on res ipsa loquitur. We affirm ISSUE(S) The jury was presented two theories of the case. The shelves fell either as a result of Ms. Larsen, who was 85 years old, having bumped into them or as a result of Kmart's negligence which was inferred by res ipsa loquitur. The evidence showed that the Larsens were shopping at a Kmart store in LaGrange. Ms. Larsen had turned back down the aisle, she felt something hit her on the head, and shelving fell down on and around her. Ms. Larsen suffered various injuries as a result. Ms. Larsen could not recall whether she bumped into the shelving, but she did not think she had. The trial court charged the jury on premises liability, negligence, res ipsa loquitur, and plaintiff's duty of care. RULE(S) Res ipsa loquitur Cases where there is no evidence of consequence showing negligence on the part of the defendant. ANAYLSIS The doctrine authorizes, but does not require, the jury to infer facts from the circumstances in which the injury occurred, thereby filling the evidentiary gap. o A charge on res ipsa loquitur is not precluded by an unsupported contention that the plaintiff was negligent. No evidence was produced from which a jury could infer that Ms. Larsen contributed to the incident. Moreover, the shelving was in the exclusive control of Brenda, the Kmart employee who was rearranging the shelves at that very moment. Brenda did not testify at trial. Res ipsa loquitur is appropriate here as, ordinarily, a person walking down an aisle is not struck by falling shelves unless someone was negligent. CONCLUSION The res ipsa loquitur charge did not prevent the jury from considering Kmart's theory that Ms. Larsen caused her own injuries. Kmart's theory was supported by a charge on the plaintiff's duty of ordinary care. The jury determined that the evidence did not support Kmart's theory. The trial court properly charged the jury on res ipsa loquitur. Judgment affirmed. 2