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GRIPP v. LIT BROTHERS (07/17/56)

July 17, 1956

GRIPP
v.
LIT BROTHERS, APPELLANT.



Appeals, Nos. 94 and 95, Oct. T., 1956, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas No. 2 of Philadelphia County, March T., 1954, No. 1739, in case of Elizabeth Gripp et vir v. Lit Brothers, Division of City Stores Company, Inc. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Norman R. Bradley, with him Ralph S. Croskey, for appellant.

Max Meshon, with him Eilberg & Meshon, for appellees.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Carr, JJ.

Author: Woodside

[ 181 Pa. Super. Page 445]

OPINION BY WOODSIDE, J.

This is an appeal from the refusal of the lower court to grant defendant's motions for judgment n.o.v. and for a new trial after a jury verdict for the plaintiffs, husband and wife, in a trespass action brought for personal injuries suffered by the wife when she fell in defendant's department store.

In accordance with the familiar rule, the verdicts having been rendered for plaintiffs, the evidence and the inferences reasonably deducible therefrom are to be reviewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiffs.

When thus viewed the evidence shows that while the wife-plaintiff was shopping in defendant's store she slipped and fell on the white marble floor, and suffered physical injuries. There was no person in the immediate

[ 181 Pa. Super. Page 446]

    area but she saw a store porter coming through an archway as she fell. After her "foot went under her" when she was attempting to get up she was assisted to her feet by a woman employe and the porter who took her to the store dispensary. There the nurse wiped away a substance from her ankle which the wife described as "wet". Upon arriving home, she discovered that her coat was "oily" and had little pieces of glass embedded in it. Defendant's witness, the woman employe who helped her after the fall, testified that the floor "was all oily".

A few minutes before plaintiff slipped another shopper had dropped a bottle which broke, causing an oily substance to spill on the floor at or near where she fell. The store porter learned of this immediately and attempted to clean the floor by brushing the broken glass into a pan and wiping the floor with a rag.

The defendant's porter, who was called as a witness for the plaintiff, testified that on the floor was "some sticky liquid and there were drops on the floor for about ten feet", which he "had finished cleaning up". Although at one place he said he had "just about cleaned it up", and in a statement given to plaintiffs' attorney prior to trial had said that the wife-plaintiff "came along in a big hurry" and that he didn't know whether she slipped on the liquid or fell over him, his last statement was to the effect that "I had finished cleaning up the best I could all I seen. I don't know whether there was anything I ...


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