Leannarda v. Lansburgh's Dept. Store, No. 288

CourtCourt of Appeals of Maryland
Writing for the CourtArgued before HAMMOND; McWILLIAMS
Citation273 A.2d 149,260 Md. 701
Decision Date05 February 1971
Docket NumberNo. 288
PartiesGwen LEANNARDA v. LANSBURGH'S DEPARTMENT STORE.

Page 701

260 Md. 701
273 A.2d 149
Gwen LEANNARDA
v.
LANSBURGH'S DEPARTMENT STORE.
No. 288.
Court of Appeals of Maryland.
Feb. 5, 1971.

Page 702

David B. Lamb, Washington, D. C., for appellant.

William Clague, Washington, D. C. (Francis C. O'Brien, Silver Spring, on the brief) for appellee.

Argued before HAMMOND, C. J., and McWILLIAMS, FINAN, SINGLEY and DIGGES, JJ.

McWILLIAMS, Judge.

Spiked heels were stylish in the fall of 1968 and of course the appellant (Gwen) was wearing them when she and her daughter (Sallie) visited the store of the appellee (Lansburgh's) in the late afternoon of Saturday, 5 October. Five months later Gwen filed suit against Lansburgh's in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County alleging that she 'tripped and fell' on a 'rug in the dress department (which had) become frayed, tattered and torn.' On 14 July 1970 the case came on for trial before DeBlasis, J., and a jury. He directed a verdict for Lansburgh's at the close of her case. She wants us to let her have another go at it but we think the trial judge hit the nail squarely on the head.

We shall, of course, consider the evidence, together with all proper and legitimate inferences to be drawn therefrom, in a light most favorable to Gwen, Blanco v. J. C. Penney Co., 251 Md. 707, 708, 248 A.2d 645 (1968); Rodriguez v. Lynch, 246 Md. 623, 624, 229 A.2d 83 (1967), and we shall begin by letting her describe what happened:

'Q. Tell us exactly what happened when you went to the dress department in that store?

Page 703

'A. I was looking through the dresses in the dress department and we left to go to the coat department, and I had on high heeled shoes and the high heel got hung in the piece of rug. I grabbed my daughter. I did not go to the floor. My heel was hung in the rug. Mrs. Scholl (a Lansburgh's saleswoman) cut the piece of rug. * * * And she asked me if I was hurt and I said, 'No, but that is a dangerous spot there.'

'Cross Examination

'Q. Now, you were walking through and your heel caught on a thread in the rug and you had a sort of a stumbling affair but not a fall to the floor, is that correct?

'A. That is right.

[273 A.2d 150] 'Q. And with that the people from Lansburgh's came over and made inquiry were you hurt, whether you wanted to make a report, and your answer was negative, that you were not hurt and you were not going to make a report on this particular day?

'A. She asked me if I was hurt and I said, 'No, but it is a dangerous spot.'

'Q. Did you notice anybody do anything about the spot while you were there?

'A. Mrs. Scholl did cut the piece of rug.

'Q. Cut the piece of rug. After she cut the piece of rug was there any other piece of rug there after she cut it?

'A. She cut that particular loop that my heel was hung in.'

Sallie was the only witness (except a physician whose testimony was not transcribed) to testify for Gwen. She gave, in part, the following account:

'Q. Would you tell us in your own words what you saw happen?

'A. We were walking past the dresses and

Page 704

she tripped over a rug and caught herself on me.

'Q. Did you see what she tripped over?

'A. Yes, a tear in the rug.

'Q. Did she fall to the ground or did something stop her?

'A. No she fell on me.

'Q. She fell on you?

'A. Yes.

'Q. You caught her?

'A. Yes.'

On the following Monday Gwen, together with Sallie, returned to Lansburgh's. She took some color snapshots (at least five) of the carpeting where she said she stumbled and she cut several 'loops' from the seam. We found none of the snapshots in the transcript but there is in the record extract one (identified as 'Plaintiff's...

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3 practice notes
  • Maans v. Giant of Md., LLC, No. 161
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 4 Abril 2005
    ...was no screw in it. Id. at 452, 146 A. 282. Forty-two years after Dickey was decided, the Court of Appeals in Leannarda v. Lansburgh's, 260 Md. 701, 706, 273 A.2d 149 (1971), summarized the holding and import of Dickey. The Court did so in a slip-and-fall case in which the plaintiff tripped......
  • Nigido v. First Nat. Bank of Baltimore, No. 241
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • 9 Marzo 1972
    ...of the status of business invitees see Bender v. Nalee, Inc., 261 Md. 82, 274 A.2d 85 (1971), Leannarda v. Lansburgh's Department Store, 260 Md. 701, 273 A.2d 149 (1971), and Western Maryland Ry. Co. v. Griffis, 253 Md. 643 (1969), and the cases therein cited. We see in the declaration not ......
  • Bender v. Nalee, Inc., No. 290
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • 2 Marzo 1971
    ...in two cases we have had occasion to consider the duty owed a business invitee. In Leannarda v. Lansburgh's Department Store, Md.App., 273 A.2d 149 (1971), we upheld the granting of a verdict for the defendant at the close of the plaintiff's case. There the plaintiff, wearing a spiked heel,......
3 cases
  • Maans v. Giant of Md., LLC, No. 161
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • 4 Abril 2005
    ...was no screw in it. Id. at 452, 146 A. 282. Forty-two years after Dickey was decided, the Court of Appeals in Leannarda v. Lansburgh's, 260 Md. 701, 706, 273 A.2d 149 (1971), summarized the holding and import of Dickey. The Court did so in a slip-and-fall case in which the plaintiff tripped......
  • Nigido v. First Nat. Bank of Baltimore, No. 241
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • 9 Marzo 1972
    ...of the status of business invitees see Bender v. Nalee, Inc., 261 Md. 82, 274 A.2d 85 (1971), Leannarda v. Lansburgh's Department Store, 260 Md. 701, 273 A.2d 149 (1971), and Western Maryland Ry. Co. v. Griffis, 253 Md. 643 (1969), and the cases therein cited. We see in the declaration not ......
  • Bender v. Nalee, Inc., No. 290
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • 2 Marzo 1971
    ...in two cases we have had occasion to consider the duty owed a business invitee. In Leannarda v. Lansburgh's Department Store, Md.App., 273 A.2d 149 (1971), we upheld the granting of a verdict for the defendant at the close of the plaintiff's case. There the plaintiff, wearing a spiked heel,......

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