Boutin v. Cardinal Theatre Co

In Boutin v. Cardinal Theatre Co., 267 Wis. 199, 64 N.W.2d 848 (1954), a movie theater patron injured his back when he "sat violently upon the floor" because the seat on which he had attempted to sit had no cushion. See id. at 201. The supreme court observed that while the theater seats were safe as originally constructed and installed, they needed "to be kept so" under the "duty of maintenance and repair" imposed by the safe-place statute. See Boutin, 267 Wis. at 202. But given that the defective seat was an unsafe condition associated with the structure, and not a structural defect in the original seat, the patron's safe-place claim was dismissed because he failed to prove that the owner had actual or constructive notice of the problem. See id. at 205.