SHEILA M. GUIDRY
BROOKSHIRE GROCERY COMPANY, ET AL.
SUPERVISORY WRIT FROM THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT
PARISH OF LAFAYETTE, NO. 2015-4684-G HONORABLE LAURIE A.
HULIN, DISTRICT JUDGE
Danielle Thompson Paul J. DeMahy The Thompson Law Office, LLC
Attorneys for Plaintiff/Respondent Sheila M. Guidry
H. Meyers Breaud & Meyers, APLC Attorneys for
Defendant/Applicant Brookshire Grocery Company
composed of Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge, Sylvia R.
Cooks and John D. Saunders, Judges.
R. COOKS JUDGE
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
M. Guidry (Plaintiff) allegedly sustained injuries when she
slipped and fell in a Super 1 supermarket, owned by
Brookshire Grocery Company (Defendant), on June 21, 2015.
Plaintiff alleged an area of water approximately twelve
inches in diameter was present on the floor for a sufficient
period of time for Defendant to have been aware of the hazard
in the exercise of ordinary care. The parties did not dispute
that the presence of water on the polished concrete floor
presents an unreasonably dangerous condition. The trial court
granted summary judgment on the issue of liability in favor
of Plaintiff. Defendant filed supervisory writs seeking
review of the trial court's judgment asserting the trial
court erred in finding it had constructive notice of a
hazardous condition and failed to take remedial action
resulting in Plaintiff's fall.
review summary judgments de novo applying the same criteria
governing the trial court's determination of whether to
grant that summary judgment. Under the provisions of La.Code
Civ.P. art 966(A)(3), a motion for summary judgment shall be
granted upon a showing that there is no genuine issue of
material fact and that the mover is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.
brings her claims under La.R.S. 9:2800.6, commonly known as
the merchant liability statute. It provides that:
A. A merchant owes a duty to persons who use his premises to
exercise reasonable care to keep his aisles, passageways, and
floors in a reasonably safe condition. This duty includes
a reasonable effort to keep the premises free of any
hazardous conditions which reasonably might give rise to
B. In a negligence claim brought against a merchant by a
person lawfully on the merchant's premises for damages as
a result of an injury, death, or loss sustained because of a
fall due to a condition existing in or on a merchant's
premises, the claimant shall have the burden of proving, in
addition to all other elements of his cause of action, all of
(1) The condition presented an unreasonable risk of harm to
the claimant and that risk of harm was reasonably
(2) The merchant either created or had actual or constructive
notice of the condition which caused the damage, prior to the
(3) The merchant failed to exercise reasonable care. In
determining reasonable care, the absence of a written or
verbal uniform cleanup or safety procedure is insufficient,
alone, to prove failure to exercise reasonable care.
(1) "Constructive notice" means the claimant
has proven that the condition existed for such a period of
time that it would have been discovered if the merchant had
exercised reasonable care. The presence of an employee
of the merchant in the vicinity in which the condition exists
does not, alone, constitute constructive notice, unless it is
shown that the employee knew, or in the exercise of
reasonable care should have known, of the condition.
(2) "Merchant" means one whose business is to sell
goods, foods, wares, or merchandise at a fixed place of
business. For purposes of this Section, a merchant includes
an innkeeper with respect to those areas or aspects of the
premises which are similar to those of a merchant, including
but not limited to shops, restaurants, and lobby areas of or
within the hotel, motel, or inn.
D. Nothing herein shall affect any liability which a merchant
may have under Civil Code Arts. 660, 667, 669, ...