Skip to Content
News & Insights

Anne V. Mcardle Obtains Summary Disposition In Premises Liability Action

Eric Antilla v CBOCS Properties, Inc., aka Cracker Barrel, Bay County Circuit Court, case no. 17—3073—NO-JS, Hon. Sheeran. The plaintiff filed this premises liability suit against the Cracker Barrel in Bay City, after he slipped and fell on black ice on a sidewalk leading into the restaurant in March 2015. Defendant filed a Motion for Summary Disposition seeking dismissal based on the open and obvious doctrine, and lack of notice. The plaintiff was riding as a passenger in his girlfriend’s vehicle when they arrived at Cracker Barrel in the early morning hours. He exited the vehicle after they parked near the front doors, took a few steps, then fell. While Mr. Antilla denies a recollection of the fall, his girlfriend testified she saw what happened, and that as she walked toward Mr. Antilla to assist, she could see there was a covering of thin black ice around plaintiff, which she noticed because it was “shiny”. She saw ice in other areas as well, describing it as “everywhere”. All persons who responded after the fall, observed there was ice around where the plaintiff was laying, who included the store manager, another employee, the EMS, and the Fire Department. As for lack of notice, the weather reporting demonstrated it had recently started to rain and temperatures were hovering at or below freezing. Cracker Barrel performed at least three inspections of the premises before the fall, and did not notice any ice formation, nor were there any reports of ice or injuries. While one employee saw ice forming on the premises on his way into work that morning, he had not yet punched-in for work, and did not have time to salt before the fall. The court ultimately ruled there was no notice to the defendant of the ice condition, thereby granting summary disposition and dismissing the entire action.