Earlier this month, the Georgia Court of Appeals issued an opinion in a slip-and-fall case that occurred when a customer at a car dealership tripped on a wooden game board that dealership staff had placed there as a promotion. Ultimately, the court determined that because the hazard was open and obvious, and because the plaintiff had already successfully negotiated her way around it several times earlier that day, the case should be dismissed.
The plaintiff decided she was in the market for a new truck, and went to the defendant’s dealership to check out their stock. When she got to the showroom she noticed a sales associate was sitting in an office across the room, and she approached. In so doing, the plaintiff had to make her way around the four-foot-long wooden board that was placed there as part of a promotional game.
Once in the associate’s office, she had a brief conversation and then left to go see the inventory, again passing the wooden board. A few moments later the plaintiff returned to the showroom, passing the wooden board, and initiated another conversation with the associate. Once finished, she started to leave, but was stopped when the associate asked her a final question. After she answered, she turned around and left his office, tripping on the wooden board.