Anderson v. Service Merchandise Co – Case Brief Summary (Nebraska)

In Anderson v. Service Merchandise Co., 240 Neb. 873, 485 N.W.2d 170 (1992), the plaintiff was hit when an overhead light fell upon her in a store. One defendant had contracted with the store to service and maintain the lights.

The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of both defendants because neither had exclusive control of the light system in the store. The major question before the Anderson court concerned whether the defendants had exclusive control over the object which hit the plaintiff, which the trial court held the defendants did not.

The Court held: "'In the ordinary course of things,' part of a light fixture attached to a building's ceiling does not, in the absence of negligence, fall and injure an invitee." Id. at 881, 485 N.W.2d at 176.