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Shick v. Aid

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

June 6, 2019

JANE SHICK, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
RITE AID, ET AL., Defendants-Appellees.

          Civil Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CV-17-885978

          L. Bryan Carr, for appellant.

          John M. McManus, for appellees.

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          EILEEN T. GALLAGHER, P.J.

         {¶ 1} Plaintiff-appellant, Jane Schick, appeals an order granting summary judgment in favor of defendants-appellees, Rite Aid and Rite Aid Ohio Inc. (collectively "appellees"), and claims the following error:

         The trial court erred in granting appellee's motion for summary judgment.

         {¶ 2} We find no merit to the appeal and affirm the trial court's judgment.

         I. Facts and Procedural History

         {¶ 3} Shick filed a complaint in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas seeking damages for injuries she sustained when she slipped and fell on a puddle of water while shopping at a neighborhood Rite Aid store. Shick sued the Rite Aid store and its corporate parent, Rite Aid of Ohio, Inc., alleging that she sustained personal injuries as a result of appellees' negligence.

         {¶ 4} Following discovery, appellees filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that Rite Aid was not negligent because the puddle on which Shick slipped was open and obvious since it was a snowy day, and customers were trekking snow into the store. Shick testified at deposition that she went to Rite Aid on February 26, 2014, to buy some pop. She recalled that it was a snowy day with "that fluffy kind of snow." (Shick depo. at 42, 48.)

         {¶ 5} While walking into the store, Shick observed a mat inside the door. When asked if she recalled wiping her feet on the mat, she replied that she "probably stomped [her] feet." (Shick depo. at 49.) She continued walking into the store and observed a "wet floor" sign some distance away near the back of the store. (Shick depo. at 49.) She progressed approximately ten feet into the store when she fell. (Shick depo. at 50.) Shick acknowledged that the floor was wet because "a lot of people had trekked through with wet footwear." (Shick depo. at 57-58.)

         {¶ 6} Shick confirmed that the water on the floor was dirty and is what she would have expected given the snowy weather conditions. (Shick depo. at 58.) She admitted that she observed the "trekked-in water" before she fell "because [she] wouldn't have afterward." (Shick depo. at 58.) She also testified that she had "no idea" how long the "trekked-in" water had been there before she fell. (Shick depo. at 59.)

         {¶ 7} Shick opposed the motion for summary judgment, arguing the open-and-obvious doctrine did not apply to the circumstances of this case. She also argued that even if the open-and-obvious doctrine applied, there were "attendant circumstances" that rendered the condition not open and obvious. After reviewing the parties' briefs and Shick's deposition testimony, the trial court granted appellees' motion for summary judgment. This appeal followed.

         II. ...


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