Sparks v. Allen Northridge Market

CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtVALLEE; SHINN, P. J., and FORD
Citation176 Cal.App.2d 694,1 Cal.Rptr. 595
PartiesMarle SPARKS, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. ALLEN NORTHRIDGE MARKET, Lloyd Allen, Doe 1, Doe II and Doe III, Defendants, Lloyd Allen, Respondent. Civ. 23822.
Decision Date28 December 1959

Page 595

1 Cal.Rptr. 595
176 Cal.App.2d 694
Marle SPARKS, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
ALLEN NORTHRIDGE MARKET, Lloyd Allen, Doe 1, Doe II and Doe III, Defendants,
Lloyd Allen, Respondent.
Civ. 23822.
district Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 3, California.
Dec. 28, 1959.

Page 596

[176 Cal.App.2d 696] Morton J. Salsberg, Reseda, for appellant.

Robert A. Cushman and Henry E. Kappler, Los Angeles, for respondent.

VALLEE, Justice.

Appeal by plaintiff from a judgment for defendants notwithstanding the verdict in an action for damages for personal injuries.

Defendant Lloyd Allen was the owner of a retail supermarket in Northridge. It is conceded plaintiff was an invitee in the market. The complaint alleged that on May 27, 1957 defendant 'negligently, carelessly and unlawfully placed and stacked its merchandise in such manner as to cause the same to fall on and about Plaintiff's right foot while she was in said market.'

On the day of the accident there were about 30 cartons of root beer stacked at a corner of two aisles. One of the aisles ran east and west; the other, north and south. The cartons were 'sort of' wrapped around the corner of the two aisles. They were stacked 5 high right up from the floor. The floor was cement. Each carton was about 10 inches high, and contained 8 bottles filled with root beer. The cartons were of cardboard; they were open; the sides came up 2 or 3 inches; the front came up about 4 inches; about 6 inches of each of [176 Cal.App.2d 697] the 4 front bottles were exposed. The cartons had been stacked by a sales-driver of Hires Company at the direction of defendants. The root beer was on display. The display was done once or twice a year. It was

Page 597

'a promotional deal.' Hires root beer is a carbonated drink under high pressure. The customers helped themselves to the root beer in the stacked cartons. When one or more bottles were sold they were replaced.

A rough sketch of the layout, found in respondent's brief, is reproduced:

NOTE: OPINION CONTAINS TABLE OR OTHER DATA THAT IS NOT VIEWABLE

Customers use pushcarts in which to carry their purchases. The pushcarts are up to 18 inches wide. There is a turnover of about 25 pushcarts used by customers each year. They are serviced twice a year. The 'public treats them pretty rough.'

Plaintiff Mary Sparks testified: On May 27, 1957 I entered the market, went through a turnstile, took a pushcart, and proceeded easterly down an aisle. I was going to the back to the refrigerator to get some milk. As I was making the turn at the intersection of the east and north aisles, another lady was coming north down the aisle which runs north and south in front of the refrigerator. She was coming toward me on my right from in front of the milk counter, and there were some men putting up a nut display. I wanted to go around the corner. I backed up a ways to make room for the lady coming toward me 'to get by with the men standing there with the--displaying the nuts.' I moved backward when I saw her coming. I pulled my cart back. It hit the root beer bottles. There was an explosion. Glass went in and out of my foot. I was pulling the cart

Page 598

back when it struck the root beer bottles. The right-front wheel of the cart hooked on to the cartons. I do not remember whether I had seen the stacks there. I knew the display was there because I had seen it a couple of days before. The egg counter prevented me from seeing the root beer cartons as I approached them. The root beer cartons were stacked on the north and east sides of counter 8. As I recall, they were stacked from the floor 6 high and 4 wide on each side. Each carton held 8 bottles. The wheels on the cart I was pushing were rather wobbly. I had trouble keeping it straight. All I had in my shopping cart was my purse.

Neil Sparks, plaintiff's husband, testified: I walked into the store right after the accident happened to see the cause [176 Cal.App.2d 698] of the injury. I saw root beer bottles stacked up 5 high, partially in the aisle, on both the north and east sides. The stacks were...

To continue reading

Request your trial
11 practice notes
  • Albers v. Gehrke
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • February 18, 1970
    ...of every other reasonable inference possibly deriving from the evidence. (Citations.)' (Sparks v. Allen Northridge Market (1959) 176 Cal.App.2d 694, 699, [4 Cal.App.3d 476] 1 Cal.Rptr. 595, 598. See also, Truck Ins. Exchange v. Stilley (1963) 213 Cal.App.2d 311, 323, 28 Cal.Rptr. 'The infer......
  • Gonzalez v. Derrington
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • January 30, 1961
    ...applicable to the determination of the motion for judgment of nonsuit and for a directed verdict. Sparks v. Allen Northridge Market, 176 Cal.App.2d 694, 699, 1 Cal.Rptr. On appeal from a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, the evidence and all reasonable inferences therefrom must be viewe......
  • Hasson v. Ford Motor Co., LINCOLN-MERCUR
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • May 31, 1977
    ...Bufano v. City & County of San Francisco (1965) 233 Cal.App.2d 61, 63, 43 Cal.Rptr. 223; Sparks v. Allen Northridge Market (1959) 176 Cal.App.2d 694, 699, 1 Cal.Rptr. 595; see Rodabaugh v. Tekus (1952) 39 Cal.2d 290, 291, 246 P.2d 663.) In other words, we apply the substantial evidence test......
  • Vargas v. Ruggiero
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • December 6, 1961
    ...substantial evidence to support the verdict on any tenable theory of liability.' (See also Sparks v. Allen Northridge Market, 176 Cal.App.2d 694, 1 Cal.Rptr. 595; Gonzales v. Derrington, 10 Cal.Rptr. 700 1; Hozz v. Felder, 167 Cal.App.2d 197, 334 P.2d 159; Kirk v. Los Angeles Ry. Corp., 26 ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
11 cases
  • Albers v. Gehrke
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • February 18, 1970
    ...of every other reasonable inference possibly deriving from the evidence. (Citations.)' (Sparks v. Allen Northridge Market (1959) 176 Cal.App.2d 694, 699, [4 Cal.App.3d 476] 1 Cal.Rptr. 595, 598. See also, Truck Ins. Exchange v. Stilley (1963) 213 Cal.App.2d 311, 323, 28 Cal.Rptr. 'The infer......
  • Gonzalez v. Derrington
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • January 30, 1961
    ...applicable to the determination of the motion for judgment of nonsuit and for a directed verdict. Sparks v. Allen Northridge Market, 176 Cal.App.2d 694, 699, 1 Cal.Rptr. On appeal from a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, the evidence and all reasonable inferences therefrom must be viewe......
  • Hasson v. Ford Motor Co., LINCOLN-MERCUR
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (California)
    • May 31, 1977
    ...Bufano v. City & County of San Francisco (1965) 233 Cal.App.2d 61, 63, 43 Cal.Rptr. 223; Sparks v. Allen Northridge Market (1959) 176 Cal.App.2d 694, 699, 1 Cal.Rptr. 595; see Rodabaugh v. Tekus (1952) 39 Cal.2d 290, 291, 246 P.2d 663.) In other words, we apply the substantial evidence test......
  • Vargas v. Ruggiero
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • December 6, 1961
    ...substantial evidence to support the verdict on any tenable theory of liability.' (See also Sparks v. Allen Northridge Market, 176 Cal.App.2d 694, 1 Cal.Rptr. 595; Gonzales v. Derrington, 10 Cal.Rptr. 700 1; Hozz v. Felder, 167 Cal.App.2d 197, 334 P.2d 159; Kirk v. Los Angeles Ry. Corp., 26 ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT