Johnson v. Menard, Inc.Annotate this Case
Menard, Inc. (“Menards”) appealed an order denying a motion for summary judgment, an order denying a motion for judgment as a matter of law, an order granting attorney’s fees, an order as to the amount of attorney’s fees recoverable and entry of judgment, and a judgment. In 2013, Darlene Johnson visited a Menards store in Minot to exchange an item. A Menards employee directed Johnson to find the exchange in the store and return to the service counter. Johnson turned toward her right and started walking away. Almost immediately, Johnson tripped over a flatbed cart. The cart was one Menards offers its customers to use while in the store. As a result of the trip and fall, Johnson cracked seven teeth. 2017, Johnson filed a negligence action against Menards in small claims court seeking damages in the amount of $14,818.00. Menards removed the case to district court. Johnson then amended her claim with the consent of Menards. In the amended complaint, Johnson sought a jury trial and “a reasonable amount but not less than $50,000” in damages. Before trial, Menards moved for summary judgment contesting whether sufficient facts created a duty of care it owed to Johnson. The court denied the motion. At trial, Menards moved for judgment as a matter of law at the close of Johnson’s case. Menards again claimed insufficient evidence existed to require a duty of care Menards owed Johnson. Alternatively, Menards argued it had met any duty it owed Johnson. The court denied the motion. Menards did not renew its motion for judgment as a matter of law at the close of its case or after the jury returned the verdict. After review, the North Dakota Supreme Court affirmed the trial court, but remanded for consideration of Johnson's attorney's fees for this appeal.