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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 12 Torts and Cyber Torts Case 12.3 (Cite as: 183 F.3d 770) Harold MARTIN, Appellee, v. WAL-MART STORES, INC., Appellant. No. 98-3543. United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit. Submitted: April 21, 1999. Filed: July 7, 1999. Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc Denied Aug. 17, 1999. BEAM, Circuit Judge. Wal-Mart appeals the district court's denial of its motion for a directed verdict, or in the alternative, motion for a new trial, following a jury trial on Harold Martin's slip and fall action. Wal-Mart asserts that Martin failed to establish that Wal-Mart had either actual or constructive notice of the hazard on the floor; that the jury instructions failed to accurately state Missouri law; and that the jury was prejudiced by improper comments by Martin's counsel during closing arguments. We affirm. I. BACKGROUND We present the facts in a light most favorable to the verdict. Harold Martin was shopping in the sporting goods department of Wal-Mart on the afternoon of September 16, 1993. In front of the sporting goods section, in the store's main aisle, called the "action alley," there was a large display consisting of several pallets stacked with cases of shotgun shells. On top of the cases were individual boxes of shells. As Martin walked past the display with his shopping cart, he slipped on some loose shotgun shell pellets [FN2] and fell to the floor. Martin lost both feeling and control of his legs. Sensation and control soon returned. However, during the following week, he lost the use of his legs several times, and the paralysis would last for ten to fifteen minutes. Following the last paralytic episode, sensation and control did not return to the front half of his left foot. Martin's doctors have diagnosed the condition as permanent and can offer no treatment. FN2. Shotgun shells fire a quantity of pellets, or "shot," that resemble small BB's. Just prior to Martin's fall, a Wal-Mart employee walked past the display in the same area where Martin fell. At the time, the sporting goods department should have been staffed with two people, however, only one was in the department. Martin had been in the sporting goods department for ten to fifteen minutes prior to his fall and did not notice anyone handling or tampering with the shotgun shells....
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This note was uploaded on 10/13/2010 for the course LGST 205 taught by Professor Screen during the Spring '07 term at Loyola New Orleans.
- Spring '07