OF JUDGMENT: 04/17/2018
SUNFLOWER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. CAROL L. WHITE-RICHARD
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: ALSEE McDANIEL
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: SHELDON G. ALSTON ROBERT LANE BOBO
J. WILSON, P.J., GREENLEE, WESTBROOKS AND McDONALD, JJ.
After falling on ice in a parking lot, Betty Huey filed a
premises liability action in the Sunflower County Circuit
Court against Telapex Inc. D/B/A C-Spire (C-Spire). C-Spire
moved for summary judgment, claiming Huey's injuries were
caused by a natural condition in a remote area of the
premises and that the danger was known and appreciated by
Huey. The circuit court agreed and granted summary judgment.
Now Huey appeals, claiming summary judgment was improper
because there were genuine issues of material fact as to (1)
whether she fell in a remote area of the premises or an area
immediately adjacent to the store's entrance, (2) whether
she knew and appreciated the danger, and (3) whether C-Spire
exercised reasonable care to keep its premises in a
reasonably safe condition. We affirm the circuit court's
grant of summary judgment.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On March 6, 2015, Betty Huey, a retired school teacher,
traveled to C-Spire in Indianola, Mississippi to pay her cell
phone bill. The previous week, the area experienced freezing
temperatures and snow. On March 6, the conditions were still
cold and icy, but Huey was concerned about possible late fees
and cancellation of service. When Huey arrived at C-Spire,
she noticed that most of the parking lot was covered with
ice. So she parked her vehicle in a handicapped parking space
near the front of the store. Huey did not see any ice in the
parking space. But when she stepped out of her vehicle, she
immediately slipped and fell.
On March 21, 2017, Huey filed a complaint in the Sunflower
County Circuit Court seeking damages for personal injuries.
She alleged that C-Spire failed to maintain its business
premises by not treating the parking-lot surface for ice and
snow. Subsequently, in a response to an interrogatory,
C-Spire stated that its employees had placed salt on icy
areas of the parking lot before and after the incident.
Then, in February 2018, C-Spire filed a motion for summary
judgment. C-Spire claimed that Huey was injured by a natural
condition on a remote part of the business premises and that
she knew and appreciated the danger. In response, Huey
reasserted her claim that C-Spire failed to exercise
reasonable care in maintaining its premises. Huey also
claimed that the handicapped parking space was immediately
adjacent to the entrance, and that the danger was neither
open nor obvious.
In granting summary judgment, the court found that Huey fell
in a remote area and knew and appreciated the danger. After
Huey's motion to reconsider was denied, she filed a
notice of appeal.