OF JUDGMENT: 02/26/2016
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, HON. LISA P. DODSON, Judge
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: ROBERT ELLIOTT BRIGGS III MYLES
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: WILBUR PEMBLE DELASHMET ASHLEY POWELL
GRIFFIN MIGNON MESTAYER DELASHMET CHAD CHRISTOPHER MARCHAND
IRVING, P.J., FAIR AND WILSON, JJ.
Richard Coll brought a slip-and-fall claim against Wal-Mart
Stores, East L.P. and Coca-Cola Bottling Company United Inc.
after allegedly falling on a Coca-Cola display.Wal-Mart moved for
summary judgment, arguing that there was no evidence that
Wal-Mart was negligent in creating a dangerous condition or
that Wal-Mart had any actual or constructive knowledge of a
dangerous condition. The circuit court granted Wal-Mart's
motion. Finding no error, we affirm.
On September 16, 2013, Coll went shopping at a Wal-Mart in
Biloxi, Mississippi. In the main "action alley, "
there was a Coca-Cola display with Coca-Cola products stacked
on pallets. Coll stepped into the display to grab some
drinks. As he exited the display, he slipped and fell on his
left side, fracturing his hip. One of the display signs was
near him on the floor. Coll stated in his deposition that he
did not see anything on the floor when he entered the
display. He admitted he was not sure what caused him to fall,
but concluded it was the sign because he "had to slip on
Stephen Irby, a senior merchandiser for Coca-Cola, testified
that he was responsible for designing and building the
display. He was restocking the display when Coll approached.
Irby said he stepped away from the display to let Coll grab
some drinks. He further stated that Coll accidentally kicked
the sign when he was exiting the display, causing the sign to
fall. Irby testified that Coll did not slip on the sign. He
also testified that there were still at least two cases of
drinks on that corner of the display (where Coll fell). After
Coll's fall, Irby continued restocking the display.
Two Wal-Mart employees - Amanda Campisi and Zena Mullins -
testified by deposition, although neither witnessed
Coll's fall. Mullins was the first Wal-Mart employee to
arrive after Coll's fall. Coll was still on the floor.
Contrary to Coll and Irby's testimony, Mullins stated
that the corner of the display had no drinks on it when she
arrived. When asked whether that was the way it was supposed
to be, she said no. Mullins also stated that it was not her
responsibility to determine what happened.
Campisi was an assistant store manager at the time of
Coll's fall and was assigned to investigate the incident.
She stated, like Mullins, that the corner of the display had
no drinks on it when she arrived. Campisi recalled that Irby
and Mullins were there. She saw Coll on the floor and noticed
some cardboard sitting near him. About thirty minutes after
Coll was taken away in an ambulance, Campisi took pictures of
the area. Since Irby had continued restocking the display,
the pictures were not helpful for trial.
Wal-Mart provided a DVD recording of the incident, but, due
to technical difficulties, the court was unable to review the
DVD. At the summary judgment hearing, both parties agreed
that viewing the video was unnecessary.