Perry v. Hancock Fabrics, Inc.

Decision Date31 March 1989
Citation541 So.2d 521
PartiesBeverly Ann PERRY v. HANCOCK FABRICS, INC., et al. 88-279.
CourtAlabama Supreme Court

John L. Cole, Birmingham, for appellant.

Stanley K. Smith of Porterfield, Scholl, Bainbridge, Mims & Harper, Birmingham, for appellees.

HOUSTON, Justice.

Beverly Ann Perry, an invitee of Hancock Fabrics, Inc., fell while walking down the stairs inside the Hancock Fabrics store. Ms. Perry sued Hancock Fabrics and fictitiously named parties, alleging that they had negligently or wantonly allowed a dangerous condition to exist on the premises without warning Ms. Perry that the dangerous condition existed and alleging that they had "merchandis[ed] cloth and other accessories, causing [Ms. Perry] to look at said merchandise which caused [Ms. Perry] to fall." Hancock Fabrics denied the allegations of the complaint, alleged that Ms. Perry had been negligent and that her own negligence had contributed to cause her fall, and moved for summary judgment based on the pleadings and on Ms. Perry's deposition. The trial court granted Hancock Fabrics a summary judgment and made it final under Rule 54(b), A.R.Civ.P. Ms. Perry appeals. We affirm.

Ms. Perry testified that the display did not cause her to fall. Ms. Perry presented no evidence to controvert her testimony on this issue. Likewise, Ms. Perry testified that she had walked down the steps hundreds of times on occasions prior to her fall; that she had never had any problem walking down the steps before the occasion of her fall; that she did not notice, nor had she been told, that anything was wrong with the steps that caused her to fall; that she was holding onto the rail; that she does not know what caused her to fall; that since she fell she has been up and down the steps without falling, "because I have been paying attention"; that she watches the steps more closely now than she did before she fell and she takes the steps one at a time; and that she had not complained to anyone about the steps before she fell.

Ms. Perry presented absolutely no evidence to show that there was any hazard or defective condition on the steps at the time that she fell. In Folmar v. Montgomery Fair Co., 293 Ala. 686, 309 So.2d 818 (1975), Ms. Folmar testified unequivocally, in affidavit, that she did trip on something, although she could not say exactly what it was. Pictures taken of the premises showed that legs of tables stuck out into the aisle that Ms. Folmar was walking down at the time that she fell and that...

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11 cases
  • Keller v. Security Federal Sav. and Loan Ass'n
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • December 15, 1989
    ...judgment is inappropriate. Ala.Code § 12-21-12; Robichaux v. AFBIC Development Co., 551 So.2d 1017 (Ala.1989); Perry v. Hancock Fabrics, Inc., 541 So.2d 521 (Ala.1989). Summary judgment for a defendant is proper if there is no genuine issue of material fact as to a particular element of a c......
  • Robichaux v. AFBIC Development Co.
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • September 1, 1989
    ...summary judgment is inappropriate in the absence of some factually undisputed defense. Ala.Code 1975, § 12-21-12; Perry v. Hancock Fabrics, Inc., 541 So.2d 521 (Ala.1989). In determining whether there is substantial evidence of every element of a cause of action in this case, this Court mus......
  • Koch v. State Farm Fire and Cas. Co.
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • June 29, 1990
    ...evidence rule." Ala.Code 1975, § 12-21-12; Robichaux v. AFBIC Development Co., 551 So.2d 1017 (Ala.1989); Perry v. Hancock Fabrics, Inc., 541 So.2d 521 (Ala.1989). In actions filed after June 11, 1987, a directed verdict for the defendant would be proper when the plaintiff has failed to pre......
  • Hanners v. Balfour Guthrie, Inc.
    • United States
    • Alabama Supreme Court
    • April 20, 1990 is the "substantial evidence rule." Ala.Code 1975, § 12-21-12; Greene v. Thompson, 554 So.2d 376 (Ala.1989); Perry v. Hancock Fabrics, Inc., 541 So.2d 521 (Ala.1989); see, also, Bass v. SouthTrust Bank of Baldwin County, 538 So.2d 794 (Ala.1989). Thus, the trial court was obligated t......
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