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Hervey v. Alfonso - 650 So. 2d 644 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1995)

Rule:

If the record reflects the existence of any genuine issue of material fact or the possibility of any issue, or if the record raises even the slightest doubt that an issue might exist, that doubt must be resolved against the moving party and summary judgment must be denied. Additionally, even when the facts are uncontroverted, the entry of summary judgment is likewise erroneous if different inferences can be drawn reasonably from those facts.

Facts:

Appellant David Hervey filed suit against appellee Anthony Alfonso d/b/a Capital Building Maintenance (“Alfonso”), alleging negligent maintenance of the business premises where Hervey worked. Hervey claimed that Alfonso's employees created a dangerously wet condition on the premises while they were cleaning the floor. Hervey further alleged that this condition caused him to slip and fall and to sustain various personal injuries. Alfonso filed a motion for summary judgment, alleging that wet floor signs had been placed in plain view of Hervey, which warned him of the existence of the wet condition of the floor. Hervey countered with the affidavit of a co-worker who was with him at the time of the accident. The co-worker asserted that there were no wet floor signs in plain view and that he and Hervey were otherwise never warned of the wet floor conditions in the specific area where appellant fell. The trial court entered summary judgment in favor of Alfonso. Hervey appealed.

Issue:

In a suit for negligence, did genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether wet floor warning signs were displayed by Alfonso building maintenance company and whether the signs were directed to the area where injured worker Hervey fell, thus precluding a grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant?

Answer:

Yes

Conclusion:

The Court of Appeal of Florida reversed the judgment of the trial court because it found that genuine issues of material fact existed as to whether Alfonso openly displayed wet floor warning signs and, if so, whether these signs were directed to the specific area where Hervey fell. If the record reflects the existence of any genuine issue of material fact or the possibility of any issue, or if the record raises even the slightest doubt that an issue might exist, that doubt must be resolved against the moving party and summary judgment must be denied. Additionally, even when the facts are uncontroverted, the entry of summary judgment is likewise erroneous if different inferences can be drawn reasonably from those facts.

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