Plaintiff alleged injury when she tripped and fell after her sneaker got caught in the metal grooves of a step on a stationary escalator in a Kmart store. At the time, Kmart contracted with a company called Kone for the escalators’ maintenance and repair. Kmart employees were not responsible for maintenance, and the decision to shut any escalator was made by a Kone representative. The court summarily dismissed plaintiff’s complaint. It noted that, assuming the stationary escalator was a hazard, plaintiff was aware that the escalator was not running when she began to climb the steps. Plaintiff did not claim the steps defectively made, nor hazardous obstructions on the stopped escalator. She alleged the escalator was dangerous because its steps had metal grooves in which her sneaker could get caught. Surface grooves, however, are a feature common to escalators and their presence is readily apparent. The court held the allegedly hazardous condition open and obvious and that Kmart had no duty to warn plaintiff about a condition that she could easily observe on her own. Further, absent any defect, debris or other obstruction, the escalator cannot be found a dangerous condition posing a foreseeable risk of injury.
Ramos v. Sears/Kmart, 08 (iv. 4969 (Sept. 13)
Magistrate Judge Freeman Southern District