Shipes v. Piggly Wiggly St. Andrews, Inc., No. 20520

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtGREGORY; LEWIS
Citation269 S.C. 479,238 S.E.2d 167
PartiesMelton J. SHIPES, Appellant, v. PIGGLY WIGGLY ST. ANDREWS, INC., Respondent.
Decision Date04 October 1977
Docket NumberNo. 20520

Page 167

238 S.E.2d 167
269 S.C. 479
Melton J. SHIPES, Appellant,
v.
PIGGLY WIGGLY ST. ANDREWS, INC., Respondent.
No. 20520.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Oct. 4, 1977.

[269 S.C. 480] Arthur Rittenberg and Howe & Howe, Charleston, for appellant.

[269 S.C. 481] Young, Clement & Rivers, Charleston, for respondent.

GREGORY, Justice:

This is an appeal from a directed verdict in favor of Piggly Wiggly St. Andrews, Inc., in an action brought by Melton J. Shipes to recover damages for personal injuries. We affirm.

The central question is a storeowner's duty to protect its customers against the criminal acts of third persons.

[269 S.C. 482] In considering whether a directed verdict should have been granted, it is elementary that the evidence and all inferences reasonably deducible therefrom must be viewed in the light most favorable to the opposing party. Farr v. Duke Power Company, 265 S.C. 356, 218 S.E.2d 431 (1975). As Mr. Shipes, the appellant, was the opposing party, we briefly recite the testimony in the light most favorable to him.

Appellant, a man in his middle sixties, was shopping at respondent store on St.

Page 168

Andrews Boulevard in Charleston County on the evening of September 7, 1973. Between 7:30 and 8:00 p. m., he walked to his car in respondent's parking lot. He was then assaulted by several persons, none of them connected with Piggly Wiggly. At the time of the attack, appellant heard someone from the direction of the store shout, "Turn the bright lights on."

The parking lot was provided with four "mercury-vapor" lamps, which were set atop two poles. These lamps either were not shining brightly or were not turned on.

The neighborhood of the store included several bars, a liquor store, an awning company, and a real estate and insurance company. No violent crimes had been committed in the neighborhood, and the only crimes that respondent's manager knew of as occurring at the store were the theft of an employee's tape deck in the parking lot and shoplifting in the store. One arrest, for an offense not specified in the record, had been made one night in the parking lot between 10:00 and 11:00 p. m.

Appellant argues that the testimony raised a jury issue as to whether respondent negligently failed to adequately light and supervise its parking lot, which negligence proximately caused appellant's injury. Appellant cites certain sections of the Restatement of Torts 2d (1965) 1. The elements of a cause of action in tort are, [269 S.C. 483] briefly: (1) duty; (2) breach of that duty; (3) proximate causation; and (4) injury. Prosser, Handbook of the Law of Torts § 30 (4th ed. 1971).

Generally, "duty" is the obligation to conform to a particular standard of conduct toward another. Prosser, supra, at § 30. The duty of a storeowner to its invitees 2 has traditionally been described as taking reasonable care to protect them. 14 S.C. Digest, "Negligence" k32(1); Prosser, supra, at § 61, p. 392.

A storeowner is generally not charged with the duty of protecting its customers against criminal attacks of third parties. This Court has recognized, however, that the intervening criminal act of another may not always relieve one of liability for his negligence. Green v. Atlanta & C. Air Line...

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61 practice notes
  • Moore v. Weinberg, No. 4209.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 20 de fevereiro de 2007
    ...Murray v. Bank of America, N.A. 354 S.C. 337, 343, 580 S.E.2d 194, 197 (Ct.App.2003) (citing Shipes v. Piggly Wiggly St. Andrews, Inc., 269 S.C. 479, 483, 238 S.E.2d 167, 168 Our search of South Carolina jurisprudence reveals the issues presented in this case are novel. However, many other ......
  • Thigpen v. U.S., No. 85-2007
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • 10 de setembro de 1986
    ...from the acts of third parties where the storeowner knows or has reason to know of the danger. Shipes v. Piggly Wiggly St. Andrews, Inc., 269 S.C. 479, 238 S.E.2d 167 (1977). That holding suggests that the South Carolina courts would be likely to recognize a similar affirmative duty in the ......
  • Clohesy v. Food Circus Supermarkets, Inc.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • 26 de junho de 1997
    ...that a criminal attack is imminent. Bailey v. Bruno's, Inc., 561 So.2d 509, 510-11 (Ala.1990); Shipes v. Piggly Wiggly St. Andrews, Inc., 269 S.C. 479, 238 S.E.2d 167, 168-69 (1977); Castillo v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 663 S.W.2d 60, 66 (Tex.App.1983); Wright v. Webb, 234 Va. 527, 362 S.E.2d ......
  • Schmidt v. Courtney, No. 3719.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 22 de dezembro de 2003
    ...of conduct toward another. Huggins v. Citibank, N.A., 355 S.C. 329, 585 S.E.2d 275 (2003); Shipes v. Piggly Wiggly St. Andrews, Inc., 269 S.C. 479, 238 S.E.2d 167 (1977); Hubbard v. Taylor, 339 S.C. 582, 529 S.E.2d 549 (Ct.App.2000). The existence of a duty owed is a question of law for the......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
61 cases
  • Moore v. Weinberg, No. 4209.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 20 de fevereiro de 2007
    ...Murray v. Bank of America, N.A. 354 S.C. 337, 343, 580 S.E.2d 194, 197 (Ct.App.2003) (citing Shipes v. Piggly Wiggly St. Andrews, Inc., 269 S.C. 479, 483, 238 S.E.2d 167, 168 Our search of South Carolina jurisprudence reveals the issues presented in this case are novel. However, many other ......
  • Clohesy v. Food Circus Supermarkets, Inc.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New Jersey)
    • 26 de junho de 1997
    ...that a criminal attack is imminent. Bailey v. Bruno's, Inc., 561 So.2d 509, 510-11 (Ala.1990); Shipes v. Piggly Wiggly St. Andrews, Inc., 269 S.C. 479, 238 S.E.2d 167, 168-69 (1977); Castillo v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 663 S.W.2d 60, 66 (Tex.App.1983); Wright v. Webb, 234 Va. 527, 362 S.E.2d ......
  • Schmidt v. Courtney, No. 3719.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 22 de dezembro de 2003
    ...of conduct toward another. Huggins v. Citibank, N.A., 355 S.C. 329, 585 S.E.2d 275 (2003); Shipes v. Piggly Wiggly St. Andrews, Inc., 269 S.C. 479, 238 S.E.2d 167 (1977); Hubbard v. Taylor, 339 S.C. 582, 529 S.E.2d 549 (Ct.App.2000). The existence of a duty owed is a question of law for the......
  • Thigpen v. U.S., No. 85-2007
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • 10 de setembro de 1986
    ...from the acts of third parties where the storeowner knows or has reason to know of the danger. Shipes v. Piggly Wiggly St. Andrews, Inc., 269 S.C. 479, 238 S.E.2d 167 (1977). That holding suggests that the South Carolina courts would be likely to recognize a similar affirmative duty in the ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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