Thursday, June 28, 2012

Supreme Court overturns Kroger case

The Mississippi Supreme Court overturned a Hinds County judgment against Kroger. Attorney Ashley Ogden represented the plaintiff, Linda Knox, and claimed there was an "atmosphere of violence" at the Kroger store on I-55N and the store did little to protect customers. Ms. Knox was the victim of a brutal assault in the parking lot. The court disagreed and stated "We find as a matter of law that – in the context of Kroger’s more than three million customer visits over the course of three years – four incidences of criminal activity are wholly insufficient to establish an atmosphere of violence on Kroger’s parking lot."Copy of ruling

68 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope that Tyrone Lewis will take it upon himself to no longer testify against a local business as a paid expert on premises liability and that likewise all JPD officers are prohibited from such activity.

Anonymous said...

If nothing else because you're wasting your money to hire Tyrone.

Shadowfax said...

Based only on what was referenced in the lead-in to this story, it makes sense to me. Four incidents of 'violence' among millions of customer visits is NOT an atmosphere of violence, regardless of the perception we all have of Jacktown. Tyrone notwithstanding.

Anonymous said...

How is Ashley going to pay for his house now?

Anonymous said...

I've sensed an atmosphere of Madison politics each
time I've gone into the new Kroger at Hoy Road and the beautiful new "Strawberry Fields Forever" bridge.

Anonymous said...

I agree w/ what they got to, but what pisses me off is watching the reverse/render decisions from the Supremes. Either we have a jury or we don't. And if we don't, what good is the Constitution? Either let it go back to the Circuit Court, or just forfeit our right to the courtrooms and declare 100% arbitration.

Anonymous said...

If you didn't have "jackpot justice" locales in various counties (and Hinds is certainly one) then your whacked out idea might hold water. But juries are only one part of the judicial system. Honest judges are expected to be another. And all parties in a lawsuit are entitled to a fair trial, and having a "second look" to see if the law was followed by the local judge and the local jury is not a bad thing - for either side.

Anonymous said...

All I ask is that my Kroger fuel points work
at the pump.

I don't have time to talk to "Charlie Rich" about
my cute kids,Lost Rabbit or Mayor Mary, ... every time I run into the New Madison Kroger to pick-up a rotisserie chicken on the way home from work.

Anonymous said...

8:42

you hvnt tried a slip and fall case in fayette and watched a jury give perfectly fit plaintiff $1M verdict. then laughing and high fiving outside on the steps. appeal oversight is crucial. not to mention that's the law. duh.

meople said...

Do you think that number has anything to do with the lack of the ability for jpd or hinds sheriff to submit and file proper paper work for the real stats to exist

Anonymous said...

The well fed & physically fit Jefferson County / Fayette citizen probably was a winner in the first round of the fen-phen cases.

Curt Crowley said...

9:33, if I got my ass whipped so bad that the jurors and/or plaintiffs were laughing and high-fiving each other, I think I'd probably keep that story to myself.

Curt Crowley said...

There was more than enough evidence to support the jury's verdict. Lt. Allen White (JPD) told Kroger that it's security was inadequate before this incident. Lt. White recommended that Kroger hire off-duty officers, not unarmed rentacops, for the parking lot. Kroger ignored this recommendation, opting instead to hire an off-duty Deputy sheriff to stand at the front inside by the cash registers to watch for shoplifters. Kroger left the parking lot to the rentacops.

It was more important to Kroger to have a law enforcement officer inside the store protecting its profits from shoplifters than in the parking lot protecting its customers.

Kroger was warned, they ignored it, and this lady gets beat down because of it. But look on the bright side. At least Kroger's insurance company didn't have to pay anything.

Anonymous said...

Curt - love your one-sided views. But Lt. White recommended that Kroger hire off-duty "police" officers rather than off-duty "deputy sheriffs". Even a blind hog could find the acorn in this self-serving 'recommendation'.

Anonymous said...

Welcome "Whole Foods"! You are going to love Jackson, JPD, and Yo Sheriff. Welcome, welcome, welcome. As soon as someone gets capped, abducted or raped in your parking lot you will have been warned and it will be your fault and no one else's.

Anonymous said...

751 please show me where someone was "capped, abducted or raped" in Kroger parking lot. Didnt the supreme court specifically say there was not at atmosphere of violence.

Anderson said...

Curt, doesn't the presence or absence of an "atmosphere of violence" go to how much security is needed? Honest question.

The conjunction of Ogden & Kidd may be starting to raise some eyebrows at the MSSC, for better or worse. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

curt

those jurors werent laughing at a well defended trial, they were anticipating getting really nice xmas presents from the plaintiff. you know, like cars.

reversed and rendered buddy.

Anonymous said...

8:09
Someone was shot outside Julep last week. Plenty of witnesses. Not a peep in the media about it. Wonder why? Might explain the low number at Kroger.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:26 - where is the source for the Julep shooting?

Anonymous said...

One of the witnesses. Wasn't IN Julep. Was outside. Parking area.

Anonymous said...

Julep had nothing to do with it. Just like everybody/thing else was just an unfortunate bystander. Witness described the perp and the weapon.

Anonymous said...

How good a "witness" are you, 9:03AM? Did you "witness" any comment stating that the shooting was in Julep?

Anonymous said...

retraction....welcome "Whole Foods". You will love Jackson just make sure you have enough security inside and outside your premises. Razor wire and X-ray screening is recommended. Your security team should be armed and dangerous. There is nothing to fear but fear itself in Jackson. Shhhh....

Anonymous said...

9:16
8:26,9:03,9:06 here. Since 8:57 referred to what happened as "the Julep shooting" I thought it best to clarify that it wasn't in Julep, nobody at Julep was involved, just happened in area around. That clear it up for you?

Anonymous said...

I was pretty sure that Kroger had guards driving golf carts in the parking lot at the time of the attack. I remember this because before the attack you'd see them parked and yapping with other people and after the attack they were zipping around purposefully.

Anonymous said...

There's something really wrong when you have cops testifying that businesses were negligent for not preventing crime.

Anonymous said...

I've also got a problem with the cops then saying, you should pay us extra, individually, to come and protect you when we are off duty.

Pay us to protect you, and if you don't, don't expect us to send the necessary patrols into your "atmosphere of violence" to address the crime there, AND we'll show up in court to talk about all the ways you should have been able to do the job we either wouldn't or couldn't.

Anonymous said...

Its amazing how bricks from the Kroger building came loose and formed arms and hands, allowing it to assault someone. Oh wait, it wasn't Kroger who assaulted her, it was some man named Robinson who is the bad guy and did the harm. Guess he didn't have a good enough insurance policy.

Anonymous said...

"Also that afternoon, Conerly Chapman, Isaiah Robinson and Lionel Kyles arrived
at Kroger with the intention to 'snatch a lady’s purse.'"

"On September 4, 2007, Knox filed suit against Kroger, Isaiah Robinson, Lionel Kyles,
Securitas Security Services, USA, Inc., Kendra Jackson, and T&M Jackson Development,
LLC. The complaint alleged that Robinson was the person who snatched Knox’s purse and
Kyles drove the get-away vehicle."

"On October 9, 2007, Robinson and Kyles were voluntarily dismissed from the lawsuit."

Wait, what? Robinson took purse and hit her, Kyles drove the vehicle but they were "voluntarily dismissed" from the lawsuit?

Those were the people who hurt Knox. Why in the world would you dismiss the lawsuit against the vrey 2 people who hurt you in the first place?

Anonymous said...

One night I asked a golf cart guard why he was playing on his phone and not watching the customers. With his phone in hand and a visible lit up screen, his response was "you didn't see me playin on nothin."

Next time I will give my complaints to the television watching inhouse security guard.

Kingfish said...

Was it Hollywood?

Anonymous said...

12:19 Google the term "deep pockets" for your answer

Shadowfax said...

Regardless.....unarmed fat people, with poorly tucked-in white shirts, on golf carts do zero to stop crime. They may come in handy if someone has a flat way out by the highway. They can shine a flashlight on the tire-tool and jack. Otherwise, they're proverbial boar-hog tits, a total waste of money. I think this is what Bracey Coleman is doing now at the Wiggly-Pig up in Canton.

Anonymous said...

In years past I defended several businesses in the Kroger area which is the subject of this lawsuit. There have been multiple abductions from this parking area (note, the parking lot is owned by many different businesses...its shared). Theres a guy doing 25 years who gave testimony that he routinely followed ladies home from this parking area.

Ogden did a piss poor job getting his data regarding prior incidents. He wont make that mistake again.

Anonymous said...

Regardless.....unarmed fat people, with poorly tucked-in white shirts, on golf carts do zero to stop crime.

Fat people should always be armed. Alert The Stokes Twins.

Anonymous said...

It's shocking that the Supreme Court hasn't outright disallowed Super Tyrone from testifying in cases altogether since the Court very plainly averred in an opinion last year that Lewis had committed perjury when testifying as an expert.

Anonymous said...

@June 29, 2012 12:01 PM BRAVO!!! Well said.

@June 29, 2012 2:05 PM
Good memory. Slapped by Supreme Court in a few cases. If you look close, you will see several names that just keep coming up, all lumped together, in cases like this.

I believe KF did a post back then on one of the cases
http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2007/12/so-did-tyrone-lewis-break-law.html

And just in case you didn't see it in the opinion, after Knox dismissed the lawsuit against the 2 people who were the ones who hurt her, she turned around and asked one of them to come to court and testify that, well you guessed it, if off duty cops had been there with guns, they wouldn't have robbed and hit her.

So. You get harmed by a person, sue everybody (the person who hurt you, the business who has the parking lot, the people who made the asphalt for the parking lot, the company that made your car cause it got you to the parking lot, the lawnmover company because your neighbor was mowing his law and the sound gave you a headache so you had to go to the store to get an aspirin, etc.). Dismiss the lawsuit against the person who hurt you and have him come on back up to the court for you.

Anonymous said...

Right on, 3:00. And, have your friends blame the MSSC because they overcame the Kidd-led jury.

In addition to the 12:01 BRAVO!, lets add 12:04 and 12:19. While they are all making the same point, and each has added another straw to the pile to that ought to burn hot on Odgen's bs.

Curt Crowley said...

7:45, the point is that the LT recommended that off-duty law enforcement officers patrol the parking lot, NOT stand inside watching to make sure no one shoplifted a t-bone.

Any reasonable person who heard the recommendation would have understood that off-duty "police officers" would mean any law enforcement officers.

And I guess Kroger did kinda halfway follow the recommendation to employ law enforcement officers, they just put him inside watching for shoplifters instead of the parking lot where he was needed.

Curt Crowley said...

3:00 pm, Cry me a river for the poor, poor mistreated property owners.

Tell you what, you become a victim of a crime because some rich piece of shit irresponsible property owner won't do the bare minimum to make the premises barely safe. Then come on back and I'll be happy to listen to some more of your bullshit about how property owners shouldn't be held accountable for not securing the premises.

Shadowfax said...

Wrong again, Crowley. When Kroger or anybody else employs a part time, off-duty renta cop they do so for only one reason....so the record will show they HAD one. They don't give a rat's ass whether he's out by the fuel island or inside by the potato bin. All they have to show (or so they think) is that they have protection on the premises.

Anonymous said...

Curt, give it up. Odgen brings in the perp - the one that beat the lady up and stole her purse - to testify so she could get mega-millions. Didn't even hear that the guy had to get out of jail to come testify on her behalf. And Lt comes in and says the police ain't worried about the businessman, unless he hires other police officers to do what I'm paying taxes (and Kroger is paying taxes) to have the on-duty officers doing.

I live in Jackson - does that mean I need to hire some off-duty police officers to hang around my property every time I have someone over for dinner or for drinks?

Property owners are responsible for providing reasonable security. But they aren't supposed to have to guarantee that absolutely nothing bad will happen to you. How many cops do you think Kroger should hire? Five? Ten? What if they hire a dozen, yet something bad happens? Are they still responsible?

Sue happy lawyers like you are the reason Jackson doesn't have businesses operating here anymore. Deals like Odgen/Kidd (along with Green and anybody) make "rich piece of shit irresponsible owners" leave and cross the county line.

By the way - didn't the "rich piece of shit property owner pony up $1million to Ashley's piece of shit lawsuit?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, 4:05 pm, but this tired old game of well-somebody-got-to-pay just doesn't work.

The ONLY reason this case was brought was money. It wasn't justice (now, who were the two people voluntarily dismissed--oh, that's right, the TWO PEOPLE WHO DID THE HARM IN THE FIRST DAMN PLACE.)

And how CONVENIENT that certain police officers testify over and over again---oh, well, if, uh, you'd just hire us when we're not working, then we'd make extra money, oops, I mean them there'd never be any crime. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Forget the very obvious problem with that type of thinking, and lets just look around---armed police patrol our streets so obviously there's absolutely no crime anywhere on our streets because they are armed. Doesn’t that logic work? I will never understand how the good cops actually stomach this type of crap from those guys. And by the way, 4:05 pm, the cops arrest the bad guy, he goes to jail, and somehow mysteriously ends up back on the street. How many times have we seen—and his rap sheet has x number of past crimes. So, where’s Ogden then, why aren’t any of these ‘for the people’ putting those little pissants back in jail. How come old One Call isn’t putting them back in jail. I guess there's no big payday for that kind of work. It didn't happen on somebody's parking lot.

Oh, but its Kroger’s fault that some jackoff drove up and committed a crime. Please. The very idea that you're going to sue yourself into some ‘fake safety’ is absurd and only benefits the lawyer who is screaming----but so-n-so got hurt and we have to sue, that is we have to find someone to sue who has money so we both can get some cash.

So I guess every person must have an armed guard with them at all times, every errand, every place they go, cause otherwise, there's an ‘atmosphere of violence’ and some 3rd party may hurt you and you may not be close enough to a business that has insurance. The only people who benefit from this type of crap are the lawyers filing the lawsuit.

People need to grow the hell up.

Apologies to KF, but stuff like this pisses me off.

Anonymous said...

"It is not a property owner's responsibility to rid the immediate area of crime unless the property owner is causing the crime (i.e., bar, whore house, crack house, etc). A grocery store does not increase crime, and only attracts the criminal element to the same extent anything of value would."

Look for our Supreme Court to enter a holding to this effect soon if the plaintiff's bar/bench keeps pushing b.s. premises cases up to them. Especially when the verdict amounts to little more than a declaration of class warfare/entitlement.

Anonymous said...

What a joke. I'll tell you what, 4:15 pm, since you're just so concerned about everyone's safety, you can pay for armed guards to escort us all around because that's of course your number one concern-our safety. Right.

A property owner is NOT an insurer of someone's safety. They are to exercise reasonable safety from forseable things. Just because you own a store doesn't mean you have a magic ball, know every criminal out there, and should have men with guns pointed all over the place.

Anonymous said...

Curt - serious question here: after you caught the thug rifling through your file cabinets at work and marched him at gunpoint to the cops, did you then sue your landlord (you know, the property owner) for failing to provide adequate security for you?

Curt Crowley said...

As I said before, you get up close and personal with one of these animals because some PoS property owner is irresponsible and doesn't secure his property, and I will be more than happy to listen to your AmJur lecture on negligent security.

Until then, I personally don't give a shit how many times you repeat the insurance defense summary judgment talking points.

bill said...

Curt, how does a property owner know when he's taken sufficient steps to secure his property? By definition, it's secure if no incidents occur, right? How will this case - or maybe I should say how would have this case - helped establish a measurable point of security for future cases to use as precedent? It seems to this non-attorney that reasonable security is a moving target, sort of like the "I'll recognize it when I see it" definition of pornography. If a property owner has never had an incident in his parking lot he is reasonable to assume his security is sufficient right up to the point where some thug smacks a woman in the head and grabs her purse. How can he be held liable for something he couldn't have possibly predicted from past experience?

roughneck said...

Here's hoping none of the posters here have anything hurt them when they shop at Kroger/WalMart/etc. Cause if you are maimed or injured, take heart knowing that the MS Supremes will overturn the verdict for big business.

Mississippi - no justice here for the little people anymore

Anonymous said...

Curt,

I see that your DJT blog stagnated about three months ago.

One can only assume that West Capitol Street now must
be a crime free Utopian Paradise.

What's the latest in your Standard Life Hood?

Anonymous said...

Curt - 5:17 here. When I said "serious question" I meant "serious question". Your reply immediately below ignores the question completely.

Did you sue the property owner after your incident, or not? Do you hold the landlord liable for the emotional trauma, etc, you suffered on his/her premises?

If you can't answer a "yes or no" question with a "yes" or "no" - well, that's an answer of a different kind, and it affects your credibility.

Anonymous said...

everyone who makes more than $12 an hour thinks he's one of the good ole boys, votes for Phil Bryant, and curses the plaintiff's lawyers. like lambs being lead to the slaughter.

Everyone's heard about the 1% at the top. Well the 1% at the bottom are the people to whom this kind of shit happens. If you ever end up with that minority, you'll find out exactly far away you are from the 1% who matter anymore. Until then, keep voting away your rights and supporting those who couldn't give a rip about you or your family.

Anonymous said...

Why the references to Madison? This all took place in Stokestown.

Curt Crowley said...

Bill:

For me, the turning point as to business owner responsibility is when the owner is notified he has a security problem.

When a business has a security survey done, it will pinpoint any problems/risks and make recommendations on how to remedy those issues. If the business follows the recommendations, it would be difficult to say the business owner was negligent in the event of a criminal assault.

On the other hand, if the security survey notifies the business of security issues and how to fix them, and the business does nothing, then they need to get hammered.

Kroger was notified that they had a problem. Kroger did nothing. And they are not held accountable.

Curt Crowley said...

5:17, my response was not meant for you. I was typing when you posted your comment, and didn't see it until afterward.

To answer your question, no I didn't sue the PoS property owner and management after that incident. I chose to use "extrajudicial" means to hold them accountable.

Shadowfax said...

Crowley; How is it you're privy to what Kroger Management in Memphis does or doesn't do? You ambulance chasers are a dime a dozen and don't give one shit about patron safety at shopping venues, only how the lack of it might pad your greedy-ass pocket book.

Curt Crowley said...

Shadowfax, you're an idiot. Everyone knows that you don't half read KF's posts, and you NEVER read the links that are contained in the posts. You just comment half-cocked and look like a fool.

Had you bothered to read the opinion that KF linked, you would know how I know what Kroger did. Since you won't take time to read and figure it out yourself, I'll go ahead and tell you how I know. Kroger testified about it in the trial. That testimony is contained in the linked opinion.

Btw, I don't handle those kinds of cases, so I personally don't care if the lawyers get paid. I do, however, shop. I also bleed if I get shot or cut. That's why I care about irresponsible property owners.

Now go have another drink and wallow in your ignorance. Come back when you're sober.

Shadowfax said...

Mr. Crowley, Esq., An 'ambulance chaser' is an attorney who 'rushes in' (or shouts his availability) at the first sign of another's misery or misfortune in order to put a little folding money in his pocket. That defines you and most attorneys to a 'T'. Some are just more aggressive at it. Thanks for the admonition, but I only enjoy a chilled beverage occasionally after a hard day's work. It's rare though.

You really seem to have a deep personal problem with anyone who owns property and has been successful, financially. Why else would you constantly refer to them as pieces of shit?

Curt Crowley said...

Shadowbrain, what part of I don't handle those kind of cases is difficult to understand? This isn't about me or the evil lawyers. This is about the lady who got her face bashed in by some thugs because Kroger would not follow the security recommendations it was given.

I was being just polite when I speculated that your idiotic comments were due to alcohol consumption. It seemed nicer to blame your ignorance on booze than to come right out and call you dim.

Anonymous said...

"This is about the lady who got her face bashed in by some thugs because Kroger would not follow the security recommendations it was given"

I call bullshit. The lady should have sued the ACTUAL PEOPLE WHO HURT HER. The ONLY reason Kroger or any other business was involved was because the ACTUAL PEOPLE WHO HURT HER didn't have enough money.

The justice system must have a defendant and a plaintiff. There must be lawyers to represent both sides. There is no problem in that at all. No sacks of money need to be exchanged with the judges (pardon, couldn’t help that reference).

The problems occur when the ONE WHO COMMITS THE ACTUAL CRIME doesn’t have enough MONEY and the plaintiff decides that SOMEONE WITH MONEY must be held ‘accountable’. It twists the justice system from one of justice and restoration to a lottery where the plaintiff and lawyer get millions and the rest of society pays the price (the bad guy is still out there and can harm again).

Curt Crowley said...

8:55, by opining that the criminal is the one who should be held accountable, do you suggest that a property owner never has a duty to provide reasonable security? Should a property owner never be subject to suit for failing to have reasonable security?

Anonymous said...

"..opining that the criminal is the one who should be held accountable.."

wait, what? You mean I was horrible enough to say that outloud--the **criminal** should be accountable. Oh my gosh, what is this world coming to?! The criminal should be dropped from the lawsuit and come back to court and testify for the plaintiff...oh wait, that sounds a little familiar.

Anderson said...

I looked back at the op today.

The majority could have usefully explained why the expert ops weren't enough for a jury to find for the plaintiff. My takeaway is that no legal duty accrued absent an "atmosphere of violence," and without that, expert opinions claiming such a need for add'l security were unfounded as a matter of law.

Curt Crowley said...

1:38, apparently you missed the point of my question, so let me ask it another way. Do you contend that the criminal--and only the criminal--should be held accountable for the assault?


"The criminal should be dropped from the lawsuit and come back to court and testify for the plaintiff...oh wait, that sounds a little familiar."

Perhaps it sounds familiar because it is essentially what prosecutors do in countless criminal cases every day.

Curt Crowley said...

Anderson, I agree with your analysis.

Apparently the fact that Kroger had FOUR strong-arm robberies in its parking lot in the preceding three years was not enough to make management aware of an atmosphere of violence.

Anderson said...

Atmosphere of *violence* is right, Curt - not "atmosphere of crime."

The plurality (I shouldn't have said "majority") set a bright line: incidents of purse-snatching do not amount to "violence" for purposes of premises liability.

I'm curious why two justices sat this out - I have come to suspect that on 5-4 issues where the justices in the middle are wobbly, one on each side agrees to sit out to make the decision a plurality, i.e. non-precedential.

Curt Crowley said...

It does seem like a bit of a stretch how the court minimized those prior instances as "purse snatching."

"Purse snatching" is strong-arm robbery under the criminal statutes. It's a violent crime no matter how much the term gets lawyered.

I'm hoping a defense lawyer will use the Court's own logic in a criminal appeal one day. "No, Justice Dickinson, my client didn't commit robbery. He merely used force to take the victim's property from the victim's person, with the intent to permanently deprive the victim of ownership of the property. Ya know, it was "non-violent purse snatching," like in the Kroger case."

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS
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