Stanley v. Scott Petroleum Corp.Annotate this Case
Khambraya Stanley and Jeanette Winchester were purchasing fuel at a gas station owned and operated by Scott Petroleum when they were struck from behind by an out-of-control car. They asserted that Scott Petroleum required its patrons to stand in an unreasonably dangerous spot and that, even though it had erected iron and concrete bollards (posts) around the store, gas pump, and a power pole, it had placed neither barriers nor a curb around the walk-up window. Scott Petroleum had posted a sign on the side of the side of the store that said: “CAUTION! BE SAFE AND ALERT. WATCH OUT FOR MOVING VEHICLES.” With only written discovery completed, Scott Petroleum filed a motion for summary judgment. The plaintiffs opposed the motion and alternatively requested a continuance under Rule 56(f) of the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure so they could obtain affidavits, take depositions, and complete discovery. The trial court granted Scott Petroleum’s motion for summary judgment, denying the plaintiffs’ request for a continuance. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The Mississippi Supreme Court granted plaintiffs’ petition for writ of certiorari to address whether the trial court erred in refusing to grant a Rule 56(f) continuance prior to granting summary judgment. After review, the Court found the trial court should have granted the continuance to permit more discovery, and therefore reversed the grant of summary judgment as well as the Court of Appeals’ judgment and remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings.