In or around August of 2009, Angela Sarkisian was in attendance at a night club named ‘The Liquor Store’ in Boston, Massachusetts. Ms. Sarkisian was at the club for a bachelorette party she was attending. The club consisted of two bars as well as a wooden dance floor and lounge area adjacent to the dance area. Patrons were freely able to bring drinks from the bar to the dance floor as well as the lounge area. In order to get to the lounge area a patron had to ascend two stairs. Ms. Sarkisian spent the night with her friends and frequented the dance portion of the club as well as the lounge area. At one point, she was taking the steps down to the dance floor and slipped on a puddle of liquid. As a result she broke her leg in two places and required serious medical attention for her personal injuries.
Ms. Sarkisian brought suit against the club, predicated on negligence, and claimed that the club was negligent in allowing a defect (the puddle) to exist on the floor. As a result of such a defect, she claimed she suffered serious and severe personal injuries. The club countered that the Defendant did not breach any duty of care to the Plaintiff and that she failed to prove that club knew, or should have known, about the spill on the floor. The club contended that without such notice, no breach of duty of care could be established. As a result, the Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment alleging that there were no material facts in dispute that rose to a triable level- and as such- the Defendant should be entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The court ruled in favor of the Defendant and Ms. Sarkisian appealed.
On appeal the Plaintiff argued that the mode of operation approach should apply because, based on the night club’s businesses, it is foreseeable that drinks can be spilled on a floor and create a dangerous condition. In discussing the Plaintiff’s argument of ‘mode of operation’ the court wrote: Continue reading →