In Rhodes v. Whataburger Restaurants, 2012 WL 1100671, the Louisiana Western District granted summary judgment in a case in which a customer alleged she “tripped and fell over the ruffled edge of a rug.”   The court found that the plaintiff had not alleged or provided any evidence showing a rip or tear in the mat, frayed edges, a curl, wrinkle or fold, or any condition related to the mat prior to her fall other than mere allegations that it was defective prior to the fall, which was “clearly insufficient to meet her burden.”  The court further stated “the mere fact that plaintiff tripped on a weather related floor covering in the defendant’s store, standing alone, does not establish a condition that presented an unreasonable risk of harm.”  The court further found that even if the mat had presented an unreasonable risk of harm, the plaintiff failed to show that Whataburger had actual or constructive notice of the condition presented by the mat prior to her fall.


Plauché, Smith & Nieset is engaged in the insurance defense practice, concentrating on insurance defense litigation and business litigation in Calcasieu Parish, Cameron Parish, Jefferson Davis Parish, Allen Parish, and Beauregard Parish.  Plauché, Smith & Nieset also engages in the insurance defense practice throughout the state of Louisiana.