Double Quick, Inc. v. MooreAnnotate this Case
This case came before the Supreme Court on an interlocutory appeal from circuit court. The issue on appeal was whether the trial court erred in failing to apply premises-liability law and denying Double Quick, Inc.'s motion for summary judgment. The matter arose from a shooting that occurred in the parking lot of a Double Quick convenience store. George Ford, accompanied by his young son, entered Double Quick to make a purchase. Shortly afterward, Cassius Gallion entered the store. Ford and Gallion exchanged words. Gallion exited the store first. Then Ford left the store to pump gas into his car. Because she was worried that Ford and Gallion would fight, the assistant store manager accompanied Ford and helped Ford’s son into the car. At the gas pumps, Ford and Gallion again exchanged words. Mario Moore, who had arrived at the Double Quick but had not yet been inside, approached Ford’s car, intervened in the argument, and threw a punch at Ford. Mario missed Ford, but struck Jackson, who then returned to the store and called the police. Ford then retrieved a pistol from the trunk of his car and shot Mario. Mario died as result of his injury. Dorothy Moore, as administrator of Mario’s estate, filed suit against Double Quick arguing that Double Quick had neglected to protect Mario from injury and death while he was on the store’s premises. The trial court denied both parties' motions for summary judgment. The trial court held that the case was more similar to a basic negligence action against an employee of Double Quick than a premises-liability action, and that a jury should determine whether the manager's actions were the proximate cause of Mario's injuries. Double Quick appealed the portion of the order denying it summary judgment. "In premises-liability cases, there are two ways to establish legal causation, or foreseeability, in cases of assault by a third person: the requisite 'cause to anticipate' the assault may arise from actual or constructive knowledge of the assailant's violent nature, or actual or constructive knowledge that an atmosphere of violence exists on the premises." The Supreme Court found that there was no suggestion in the record that the store manager had any knowledge of Ford's violent nature. Moore failed to prove that the injury was reasonably foreseeable, or that the manager's behavior was the proximate cause of Mario's injury. Accordingly, the Court held that the trial judge should have granted Double Quick's motion for summary judgment.