Corbin v. Safeway Stores, Inc

In Corbin v. Safeway Stores, Inc., 648 S.W.2d 292, 296 (Tex. 1983), the plaintiff slipped and fell on a grape that was on the floor in front of a grape display. Corbin, 648 S.W.2d at 294. Safeway, the premises owner, had directed each of its stores to keep large, non-slip mats in front of these displays because Safeway knew that if grapes fell on the floor, someone could slip and be injured. See id. The plaintiff in Corbin contended that there were three dangerous conditions. The first was the presence on the floor of the specific grape on which Corbin fell. He argued that Safeway had constructive knowledge of this condition because when he fell, other grapes lying around him were discolored and ruptured. See Corbin, 648 S.W.2d at 296. The Court held that this was legally insufficient evidence "to prove that the grapes had been on the floor a sufficient time to impute knowledge of their location to Safeway." Id. The "aging and discoloration may just as likely have occurred before as after the grapes fell." Id. The Court also held that there was no evidence to support Corbin's second theory, which was that the floor was excessively dirty. See id. The Court held that there was some evidence of a condition that presented an unreasonable risk of harm. The Court said in Corbin that when the injured party is an invitee, the elements of a premises claim are: (1) Actual or constructive knowledge of a condition on the premises by the owner or occupier; (2) That the condition posed an unreasonable risk of harm; (3) That the owner or occupier did not exercise reasonable care to reduce or eliminate the risk; and (4) That the owner or occupier's failure to use such care proximately caused the plaintiff's injury.