Negri v. Stop & Shop, Inc.

65 N.Y.2d 625, 491 N.Y.S.2d 151, 480 N.E.2d 740 (1985)

 

RULE:

It cannot be said, as a matter of law, that the circumstantial evidence was insufficient to permit the jury to draw the necessary inference that a slippery condition was created by jars of baby food which had fallen and broken a sufficient length of time prior to the accident to permit defendant's employees to discover and remedy the condition.

FACTS:

Plaintiff filed a complaint that the corporation negligently maintained the store it was operating, causing the customer to fall and suffer injuries when she hit broken glass laying on the floor. Testimony was presented at trial from another customer who was in the store at the time of the fall that she did not hear any jars falling from the shelves or otherwise breaking in the 15 minute period prior to the fall. There was also testimony that there were many of broken jars on the floor and that the aisle had not been cleared or inspected for at least 50 minutes prior to the accident. The jury awarded the customer $106,050, which the appellate court reversed. The appellate court also dismissed the complaint. In challenging the judgment of the appellate court, the customer claimed that the evidence was sufficient to support the verdict and that the appellate court had no authority to dismiss her complaint. 

ISSUE:

Can the complaint be dismissed on appeal for want of evidence?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

In reversing, the court agreed that the evidence was not insufficient as a matter of law for the jury to find the corporation liable. It also found that the appellate court's sole remedy, if it found the evidence insufficient, was to order a new trial.

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