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Ethics Case

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6. Mae Tom went to Kresge’s store on November 15, 1977, slipped, and fell on a clear substance on the floor. No one ever determined what the substance was, but Kresge’s did sell soft drinks in the store, and customers could walk around with their drinks. Ms. Tom wishes to recover for her injuries. Can she do so? [Tom v. S.S. Kresge Co., Inc., 633 P2d 439 (Ariz. Ap. 1981]

I believe Ms. Tom can recover for her injuries, I’m not sure if Ms. Tom is seeking additional damages or compensation, but I believe she can recover for her injuries and any costs associated with those injuries. I don’t belive there was ever any question as to whether Ms. Tom was a reasonable person. The tort which Ms. Tom can allege is negligence, in which you must prove that the defendant (Kresge) had legal obligation to behave or refrain from behaving in a particular manner, that the defendant failed to fulfill this obligation by acting inappropriately, thereby causing personal injury and the defendants legal breech of conduct caused the personal injury. So Ms. Tom must prove duty, breach of duty, causation and injury.

In the area of duty, Ms. Tom can allege that the defendant had a duty to ensure that under the “mode-of-operation” rule that Kresge could have reasonably anticiapated that customers might spill items throughout the store since they allowed customers to shop with open beverages within the store. This would lead one to belive that on occasion there would be spills and sometimes injuries in relation to these spills. In the area of breach of duty the defendant knew the danger and risks associated with individuals being allowed to shop with open containers and perhaps should have increased janitorial staff or should have had a log to show when floors are swept, mopped and checked for general spills. In the area of causation, Ms. Tom can show that the injury would not have occurred but for



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