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Torda v. Grand Union Co.

Decided: December 17, 1959.

ANNA TORDA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
GRAND UNION COMPANY, A CORPORATION, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT



Gaulkin, Sullivan and Foley. The opinion of the court was delivered by Foley, J.A.D.

Foley

The Law Division granted defendant's motion for involuntary dismissal at the close of plaintiff's case and she appeals.

The judicial action under review must be appraised in the light of the familiar principles that, on a motion directed to the sufficiency of a case the facts must be viewed most favorably to plaintiff's contention, and that if any reasonable and legitimate inference of negligence may be drawn therefrom the case must be submitted to the jury. Corollarially, a jury question also arises if there are any facts in evidence which, if not answered, would justify men of ordinary reason and fairness to find in plaintiff's favor. Shellhammer v. Lehigh Valley R. Co. , 14 N.J. 341, 345 (1954).

Plaintiff, a customer of the defendant's supermarket, testified that on August 3, 1957 at about 11:20 A.M. she was pushing a cart in the vicinity of a self-service vegetable rack or bin, when she slipped on something which she did not see, fell and was injured. A short time later while leaving the store she noticed that there was water on the floor at the place where she had fallen. Mary Thomas, another

customer, testified that she was directly behind plaintiff, and that as plaintiff came to the vegetable counter she fell to the floor with "a thud." Then:

"Q. Did you see what she fell on?

A. After she got up I did.

Q. What did you see?

A. I saw a leaf of lettuce and a skid mark.

Q. And what was the condition of the floor with respect to water or dryness?

A. The floor was definitely wet.

Q. When you saw her fall at this point how far was she from this vegetable ...


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