Clayton State court Judge John C. Carbo III granted summary judgment for AMC because he found that the "wet floor" sign had been prop- erly placed and that there was no evi- dence that anyone knew the sign had collapsed.
But a panel of the Court of Appeals reversed, saying Carbo
was wrong to conclude the sign was properly placed as a matter of law.
In a unanimous opinion by then-chief Justice Leah Ward Sears, who since has retired from the court, the Supreme Court ruled that a 1997 state Supreme Court decision meant that routine issues of slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall cases-such as how closely a retailer should monitor its premises and how vigilant patrons must be for their own safety in various settings-must be answered by juries, not judges.
Given Browns' evidence of the risk posed by the A-frame type of "wet floor" sign when used in areas traversed by large concentrations of people, she
wrote, the court couldn't say as a matter of law that AMC had fulfilled its duty to avoid creating an unreasonable safety risk for the public.