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Thompson v. Giant Tiger Corp.

Decided: January 28, 1937.

SARAH THOMPSON, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
GIANT TIGER CORPORATION OF CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



On appeal from the Supreme Court.

For the defendant-appellant, Andrew M. Cella.

For the plaintiff-respondent, Horace G. Brown.

Wells

The opinion of the court was delivered by

WELLS, J. On September 10th, 1935, the plaintiff, Mrs. Sarah Thompson, accompanied by her husband, was a business visitor at the defendant's store in the city of Camden. She had just purchased a ten-pound bag of sugar at the grocery counter, when as she left the counter -- being about two feet away -- she slipped on something black on the floor and fell, and was injured. She brought suit against the defendant in the Supreme Court, alleging in her complaint that she was an invitee of defendant and while engaged in making purchases of merchandise she slipped on a piece of foreign substance, "which the defendant, knowingly and/or negligently, permitted to remain on its store floor for a long period of time," and was thereby injured; and she further alleged that the defendant was "negligent in failing to make reasonable inspection of its premises for the safety of the plaintiff and other customers."

The case was tried at the Camden Circuit, the jury rendering a verdict in her favor for $3,500, and from the judgment entered on this verdict the defendant brings this appeal.

The defendant sets down seven grounds for reversal, only two of which are properly before us. The first has to do with the trial court's permitting the plaintiff to testify to statements which she claims the clerk, who waited upon her, made,

as he "picked her up" from the floor. The second is that the trial court erroneously refused to grant a nonsuit.

The plaintiff's husband died before the trial and the plaintiff was the only witness to testify to the condition of the floor and the circumstances of her fall.

In answer to the question: "Mrs. Thompson, what was it you slipped on?" she said, "well, it was something black on the floor; there were several pieces of it."

She later spoke of the substance as "spots" and again as "it," saying that "it was fastened to the floor, that it was no part of the floor but stuck to the floor." She said that in company with her husband and the clerk, who had shown her these spots, she looked at them after her fall but that she hadn't any idea what they were.

There was no testimony as to the length of time the black "spots" or "pieces" had been on the floor, or that the defendant or any of its agents had ...


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