Butler v. AAA Warehousing & Moving Co

In Butler v. AAA Warehousing & Moving Co., 686 So. 2d 291, 293 (Ala. Civ. App. 1996) the Court stated: "Foreseeability must be based on the probability that harm will occur, rather than the bare possibility." Butler is distinguishable from the present case. Butler was a personal-injury action against a company that had erected a club's parade reviewing stand; the plaintiff claimed that the company that had erected the stand had negligently failed to recognize the hazard of open spaces between the levels of stands, to advise the club of that hazard, and to take steps to correct that hazard. Id. In Butler, the Court stated that the trial court correctly stated the plaintiff's burden of proof: "Thus, to show negligence by AAA in this case, [Butler] must show that AAA reasonably should have foreseen that someone's foot would get caught in the space between the levels of the reviewing stand, resulting in injury, and that AAA failed to exercise reasonable care by leaving the space uncovered, based on the facts and circumstances AAA had before it on February 8, 1993, the day it completed erection of the stand for the 1993 Mardi Gras season." Id at 293. Graham testified that it was within his job description to "make" intoxicated patrons leave the premises and to break up fights. This job description recognizes the probability that altercations, including violence, may occur. This probability is certainly distinguishable from the "bare possibility" we dealt with in Butler, a "bare possibility" that an injury could occur if a person were to have his foot "caught in the space between the levels of the reviewing stand." 686 So. 2d at 293.