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Case Style: Judith A. Ellis v. GK Griffin Interiors
Case Number: CJ-2014-736
Judge: Jefferson D. Sellers
Court: District Court, Tulsa County, Oklahoma
Plaintiff's Attorney: Mike Barkett
Description: Tulsa, OK - Judith A. Ellis sued GK Griffin Interiors on a negligence theory claiming:
1. This is an action for premises liability and negligence for the severe injuries sustained by Ms. Ellis caused by her trip and fall on the premises of Defendant G.K. Griffin Interiors furniture store on or about April 11, 2013.
2. Ms. Ellis is now and was at all times relevant to this incident a resident of Tulsa County, Oklahoma.
3. Defendant Griffin is and at all times relevant to this action a corporation, duly
organized and existing under the laws of the State of Oklahoma.
4. Defendant Griffin, at all times relevant to this action, was the owner and operator pf -_ I'.)
the G.K. Griffin Interiors, located at 8212 East 41't Street, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
5. The acts and omissions that are the subject of this action occurred in Tulsa County, Oklahoma.
6. On April 11, 2013, Ms. Ellis was a business invitee shopping at the antique furniture store operating under the name "G.K. Griffin Interiors."
7. On that date, Ms. Ellis was walking through the store and observing items on display for sale when she tripped and fell over an approximately I Yz" to 2" wooden platform situated under and in front of a large desk used as the checkout area.
8. As a direct result, Ms. Ellis sustained severe injuries of both body and mind.
9. As such, the raised wooden platform constituted a dangerous, hazardous condition known to exist by the owners and/or operators of the business premises.
I 0. It is the duty of a storekeeper to keep premises safe for its customers and this duty applies to conditions which are hidden dangers, traps, snares, or pitfalls.
11. "Hidden dangers" against which a storekeeper has a duty to protect invitees need not be totally or partially obscured from vision or withdrawn from sight. Rather, a "hidden danger" is a condition presenting a deceptively innocent appearance of safety which cloaks a reality of danger.
12. In this case, the 1Yz" to 2" wooden platform constituted a "hidden danger" under Oklahoma law. It was known to exist by Defendant Griffin. The raised platform was directly in the pathway of unwary customers, such as Ms. Ellis, who were in the store to browse and shop for items on display. Accordingly, Defendant Griffin is liable for all injuries to Ms. Ellis which occurred as a result of her trip and fall on April 11, 2013.
13. Ms. Ellis' injuries occurred as a direct and proximate result of the negligence, carelessness and recklessness of Defendant Griffin.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for judgment against Defendant Griffin for compensatory damages for her physical injuries, mental anguish, pain and suffering, and lost wages and income in an amount in excess of $75,000.00. Plaintiff further seeks an award of punitive or exemplary damages against each Defendant, on each of her claims and causes of action in excess of $75,000.00 to deter Defendants from acting with such willful and reckless disregard for others and with such gross negligence in the future and to apprise the public at large that society does not condone such conduct.
Outcome: Settled for an undisclosed sum and dismissed with prejudice.