Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case
Shapero & Green, L.L.C., Michael I. Shapero, Sean Burke,
Brian J. Green, and James A. Marx, for appellant.
Hanson, for appellees.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
MICHELLE J. SHEEHAN, JUDGE
1} Dwight Goodman ("Goodman") appeals from
a judgment of the trial court granting summary judgment in
favor of JN House Enterprises, Inc. ("JN House").
After a careful review of the record and applicable law, we
affirm the trial court's judgment.
2} In the early morning of September 2, 2016,
Goodman went inside a McDonald's restaurant operated by
JN House located at Miles Road in Bedford Heights. He
purchased a cup of coffee, and on his way out, he slipped and
fell on the sidewalk just outside the restaurant. The
sidewalk had been scrubbed and cleaned by an employee earlier
On February 14, 2017, Goodman filed a lawsuit against JN
House, alleging he was injured due to a negligently
maintained sidewalk. Based on the deposition testimony of
Goodman and the restaurant's employees, JN House moved
for summary judgment, asserting that the open-and-obvious
doctrine barred Goodman's negligence claim and that there
were caution signs in the area.
4} Goodman opposed JN House's motion for summary
judgment, alleging that an employee of the restaurant had
been cleaning the sidewalk with a mixture of water and a
degreasing agent, which created a hazardous condition, and
there were no warning signs placed on the area when he fell.
In his deposition, Goodman testified he entered the
McDonald's to purchase coffee around 8:00 a.m. As he
testified, when he entered the restaurant, there were no wet
floor signs on the sidewalk or in the vestibule area of the
restaurant. He testified that, when he entered the store, he
"might have slipped a little bit but [he] didn't
really pay it [any] attention." After he ordered a cup
of coffee, he exited the restaurant the same way he entered
it, but slipped and fell on the sidewalk outside the
vestibule area. He fell toward his left and caught himself
with his left arm. He went back to the restaurant to tell the
restaurant's manager, Robert Medina ("Medina"),
that he fell. After he filled out an incident report, he went
to work. He went to an urgent care later that same day
because his back hurt from the slip and fall and required
6} Goodman testified there was an independent
witness to the incident: a man inside the restaurant saw him
fall. The man provided Goodman and Medina his contact
information. Both Goodman and Medina admit they later lost
7} Medina talked to Goodman after the incident. He
stated Goodman reported the incident around 6:50 a.m.,
although Goodman himself stated he was at the restaurant
around 8:00 a.m. Medina acknowledged an employee, Dorothy
Stevens, scrubbed the restaurant's sidewalks with a
mixture of water and a degreasing agent earlier that morning.
8} Medina gave his account of the incident,
testifying as follows:
A: He [Goodman] came in and he told me that he slipped on the
rug at first and that he wanted to fill out an incident
report. And as I was walking back to the back to get a piece
of paper and a pen he told the other manager, Linda, that was
there, that he fell on the sidewalk.
And then when I came back up front he took me out and showed
me what he claimed was an oily rug in the vestibule. And I
told him it wasn't oil, it was just wet, that we had
scrubbed the sidewalks that morning. And he told me, no,
Q. So when you went out to the vestibule - first you go out
to the vestibule area, correct?
Q. And you're telling me Mr. Goodman told you at first he
slipped on the rug in the vestibule?
Q. And that he believed it was greasy, ...