Raney v. Roger Downs Insurance Agency

In Raney v. Roger Downs Insurance Agency, 525 So. 2d 1384 (Ala. 1988), the parents of a child injured in the offices of an insurance agency while her mother was cleaning those offices sued the insurance agency and its principals, alleging that the child's injuries were the result of the defendants' negligence or wanton conduct. The defendants had hired the child's mother to clean the insurance agency's offices on the weekends, while the offices were closed. Without the defendants' knowledge, the mother often took her two small children with her when she cleaned the offices. On the day of the injury, one of the children found an open container of white granular powder on a bathroom shelf; there was a spoon in the powder. Thinking the powder was sugar, she put the spoon in her mouth. The powder was lye, and it caused painful burns to the child's mouth. 525 So. 2d at 1385. Because the defendants were unaware that the child was with her mother when the mother was cleaning the offices, this Court affirmed the summary judgment for the defendants, stating that the facts did not support a claim of wantonness. Id. at 1387.