Partelow v. Edgar, 1644

Decision Date27 February 1969
Docket NumberNo. 1644,1644
Citation219 So.2d 72
PartiesGeorge PARTELOW, Sr., and Marguerite Partelow, husband and wife, Appellants, v. Lillian C. EDGAR d/b/a Marion's Dress Shop, Appellee.
CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals

Larry Klein of Cone, Wagner, Nugent, Johnson, McKeown & Dell, West Palm Beach, for appellants.

Frank R. Round, Jr., of Howell, Kirby, Montgomery, Sands & D'Aiuto, Rockledge, for appellee.

WALDEN, Chief Judge.

This appeal is from a final judgment entered upon a directed verdict in favor of the defendant in a slip and fall case. Plaintiff, Marguerite Partelow, came to defendant's dress shop to make a payment on an item purchased on a lay-away plan. She entered the store, slipped on the terrazzo floor, fell and injured her back.

At the conclusion of plaintiff's presentation the trial court granted defendant's motion for directed verdict, holding thereby that plaintiff had failed to make out a prima facie case of negligence. We agree and therefore affirm.

No question exists but that Mrs. Partelow occupied the status of a business invitee. Defendant owed to her a duty to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition and a further duty to warn of latent dangers of which she knew or might reasonably have known but which were not apparent to the invitee. Belflower v. Risher, Fla.App.1968, 206 So.2d 256. Had a breach of these duties been shown, defendant would be liable for any resulting injuries absent contributory negligence. Conversely, where no breach of duty is shown, liability cannot result. An owner of property is not an insurer of the safety of those who come upon his property. Nor is he required to maintain the property in such a manner that an accident could not possibly happen. Night Racing Ass'n, Inc. v. Green, Fla.1954, 71 So.2d 500; Maury v. City Stores Co., Fla.App.1968, 214 So.2d 776.

Before examining the record in detail, it may prove of value to point out what evidence is not present in this case. The floor was not shown to have been maintained in other than a normal and proper manner, Ladenson v. Eder, Fla.1967, 195 So.2d 211; no evidence was presented that a foreign substance had been applied to the terrazzo, Fritts v. Collins, Fla.App.1962, 144 So.2d 850; nor was Mrs. Partelow's fall caused by any defect occurring through wear or the passage of time, Mass Bros., Inc. v. Bishop, Fla.App.1967, 204 So.2d 16.

In fact, Mrs. Partelow testified that following her fall she saw nothing unusual about the floor, and that it had no accumulation of foreign substance or skid marks on it.

Plaintiffs, however, rely on the following evidence for reversal.

Mrs. Partelow testified that she was told upon entering the store before her fall, and after her fall that the floor was slippery. She described the floor as 'just a highly polished floor' that 'looked almost like glass' to her. Defendant, Lillian Edgar, testified that one of her employees who suffered from a back problem had remarked that the floor was slippery when she wore high heels.

Finally, there was testimony that Mrs. Edgar's mother 'might' have made some comment three weeks prior to plaintiff's fall that there was at that time too much wax on the...

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10 cases
  • Reyes v. BJ's Rests., Inc.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Florida
    • August 15, 2018
    ...applied to the floor, or any evidence that there was a defect in the floor through wear or the passage of time. See Partelow v. Edgar, 219 So. 2d 72, 73 (Fla. 4th DCA 1969). 7. Plaintiffs do direct the Court to a portion of the restaurant's CCTV footage where it appears that one of Defendan......
  • Emmons v. Baptist Hosp.
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • November 8, 1985
    ...(Fla. 4th DCA 1969), cert. dismissed, 235 So.2d 294 (Fla.1970); Harvey v. Bryant, 238 So.2d 462 (Fla. 1st DCA 1970); Partelow v. Edgar, 219 So.2d 72 (Fla. 4th DCA 1969). The cleaning of a floor at a hospital is a frequent and expected occurrence. Indeed, it is fair to say that such is espec......
  • Gonzalez v. Ross Dress for Less, Inc.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Florida
    • November 14, 2022
    ...testimony). 10 Defendant's reliance upon Publix Supermarkets, Inc. v. Schmidt, 509 So.2d 977 (Fla. 4th DCA 1987) and Partelow v. Edgar, 219 So.2d 72 (Fla. 4th DCA 1969) is similarly misplaced. In Schmidt, the plaintiff slipped and fell on the floor while shopping and neither the plaintiff n......
  • Zygmont v. Smith
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • September 20, 1989
    ...Corp., 518 So.2d 427 (Fla. 1st DCA 1988), and Wills, supra. The cases cited by the appellees are not controlling. In Partelow v. Edgar, 219 So.2d 72 (Fla. 4th DCA 1969), the court affirmed a directed verdict in favor of a defendant store owner in an action brought by a customer who had slip......
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