Joye v. Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co.
US COA 4th Cir - 1968
- P slipped and fell on a banana peel in D's supermarket.
- There was no evidence presented that D put the banana on the floor or that it had actual notice of its presence.
- District Court found for P.
- 4th Cir COA reversed, found for D.
- In order to prove a case in negligence involving the duty of care of a D store to provide a safe environment, what must a P show?
- A P must show that the D either created the hazardous condition or that the D had (or should have had) actual notice of the hazardous condition.
- This case turns on the ability to establish constructive notice.
- P offered no evidence as to how long the banana had been on the floor prior to the accident.
- No one saw the banana until after it was slipped on. The banana peel was brown with dirt on it but was sticky around the edges.
- From the evidence, the jury could not tell if it had been on the floor for 30 seconds or 3 days.
- Thus, since there is no evidence of how long it may have been on the floor, there is no way to know if the D should have known of the hazardous condition.