Grubb v. Smith

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Justia Opinion Summary

This personal injury suit arose from a trip-and-fall at the Speedway SuperAmerica filling station in Manchester, Kentucky. The circuit court found for Plaintiffs and against the Speedway, the store’s owner, and the store’s manager (collectively, Defendants). The court of appeals reversed and remanded for entry of a defense judgment based on the common law’s open and obvious doctrine. Due to recent attempts to modernize the open and obvious doctrine and to harmonize it with tort law’s shift to a regime of comparative negligence, the Supreme Court remanded the case for reconsideration in light of recent precedent. On remand, the court of appeals concluded that Plaintiffs’ claims failed in their entirety. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded, holding that the court of appeals read recent precedent too narrowly. Given the long delays in this litigation, the court departed from its usual practice and addressed additional issues concerning the liability of the store manager, the comparative fault of the injured plaintiff, and the trial judge’s denial of a post-judgment motion to recuse.

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