Bloodthirsty toilets are just one of the things to fear when going to the potty
The legal standard may be technically correct, e.g., whether a duty of care was breached is a factual question, yet, the case is still ridiculous. The Court can always declare that there was no duty of care here (trust me, when I "clerked --i.e., was a shadow judge-- that is exactly what happened with ridiculous cases).
In any event...
Via the AP
A Michigan woman says she can't work or crochet and her bowling game has suffered since her right hand was broken by a toilet paper dispenser in a restaurant bathroom.
The Michigan Supreme Court, in a 4-3 order, has refused to throw out Sheri Schooley's lawsuit against Texas Roadhouse in suburban Detroit.
Schooley, 58, acknowledged it's a "bizarre story." She and her husband were out for dinner on New Year's Eve 2007 when she visited the restroom.
"I reached and the cover of the toilet paper dispenser fell down on my hand," the South Rockwood woman told The Associated Press on Monday. "It looked like the dispenser was up but it wasn't latched. At first I thought I was all right. I thought it was just bruised."
But the pain didn't fade, she said, and her husband had to cut her steak. When Schooley returned to work, she couldn't use a stapler. Diagnosis: broken bone.
Which is a shame; because this would be fucking epic...
"It is not for this court but rather for a jury to decide if the dispenser that harmed her constituted a dangerous condition," she said.
The court's three conservative justices said the liberal majority was overreaching. In a biting dissent, Justice Stephen Markman noted that the restroom was checked for wet floors and other obvious problems every 15 to 30 minutes.
Texas Roadhouse "apparently also had a legal duty to inspect for hazards that could not reasonably have been anticipated, such as a toilet paper dispenser opening unexpectedly," Markman wrote sarcastically.
Both sides have a point; however, I think this "duty" is a bit tenuous -- unless we're getting to status of persons on land, which seems to not be part of the case. Anyway, it's going to jury, where 12 people in Detroit get to decide whether or not a restaurant has the legal obligation to stop people from putting their hands into the feeding mechanism of toilet paper dispensers.
Where's directed verdict when you need one?