In this case, the plaintiff’s minor child while exiting a Wendy’s restaurant stepped from the sidewalk onto what appeared to be a wet blacktop parking lot. She fell on what turned out to be “black ice” breaking her ankle. The minor required surgery to repair the ankle with an external fixation. A claim was made and denied. CGHP filed suit and was able, during discovery, to find evidence that there was a leaking faucet near the drive-thru that had been leaking for an extended period of time. The leak drained along the blacktop beside the sidewalk from the exit of the restaurant into the parking lot. Through information from the national weather service we were able to show that the temperature had been above freezing when the minor entered the restaurant but was several degrees below freezing after darkness when she exited. The employees of the restaurant knew that the temperature would go below freezing while the leak continued. Plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to fix the leak, to the put out a chemical to prevent the freezing or to warn of the ice. The case settled at mediation.
Gibbs v. Wendelta, Inc.