Spot the Tort: Tort-Spotting Friend of Lawhaha Keeping Floridians Safe

Dangerous friend and South Florida resident Amy Holland is always on the look out to make the world a safer place.  Here’s her latest effort:

Here’s a good spot-the-tort photo for you.  We were at a liquor store, and as we were (separately) browsing the aisles, we each tripped over this object in the floor.  Thankfully, neither of us was seriously injured, but tripping and stubbing a toe on this thing sure does hurt!

The object, which appears to be a doorstop, is made of heavy metal and anchored to the floor with concrete.  I have no idea why someone would place a doorstop in the middle of the floor (as opposed to near the wall).  The object is difficult to see given its small size, but the worst part is that it is located near the end of the aisle and centered between two shelves, one of which is full of glass bottles.  Because of its location, when a customer (or an invitee, rather) comes around the corner to enter this aisle, he or she will likely trip over the object before it ever comes into his or her field of vision.

Of course, I alerted the manager about the risk, and told him that he should immediately put up a caution sign or hazard cone as a temporary solution, and then have the object removed.  He said he would have it removed ASAP, so I went back to the little store last night just to see if anything had been done (okay, okay, so I wanted a glass of wine, too), and as soon as I walked in, the owner/manager said, “Watch out, the doorstop is still there!  I am having it fixed, though, I swear!” 

About two minutes later, a guy approached the manager as we were standing there chatting, and guess what—he was there to remove the doorstop!  The owner/manager was obviously serious (and diligent) about fulfilling his promise, and I thought, good for him!

Way to go, Amy!

–Thanks to Amy Holland

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Andrew Jay McClurg is a law professor whose teaching and research interests include tort law, products liability, legal education, privacy law and firearms policy. He holds the Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence in Law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
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