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Buck v. Accurate C & S Services, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

November 6, 2017

RAY W. BUCK
v.
ACCURATE C & S SERVICES, INC., ET AL.

          Session Date: August 10, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Anderson County No. B5LA0049 Donald Elledge, Judge

         Ray W. Buck ("Plaintiff") appeals the January 4, 2017 order of the Circuit Court for Anderson County ("the Trial Court") granting summary judgment to Accurate C & S Services, Inc. ("Accurate") and R&R Properties of Tennessee, LLC ("R&R") in this suit for premises liability. We find and hold that the defendants made properly supported motions for summary judgment and that Plaintiff failed to respond with genuine disputed issues of material fact showing that a rational trier of fact could find in his favor. We, therefore, affirm the grant of summary judgment.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit Court Affirmed Case Remanded.

          J. Timothy Bobo, Clinton, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ray W. Buck.

          W. Tyler Chastain, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Accurate C & S Services, Inc.

          Kenneth W. Ward and Hannah S. Lowe, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, R&R Properties of Tennessee, LLC.

          D. MICHAEL SWINEY, C.J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which JOHN W. MCCLARTY and THOMAS R. FRIERSON, II, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          D. MICHAEL SWINEY, CHIEF JUDGE

         Background

         On April 11, 2014, Plaintiff went to the business premises of Accurate located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee ("the Premises") to undergo drug testing mandated by Plaintiff's employer. Accurrate leased the Premises from R&R. Plaintiff had been to the Premises one other time, in June of 2013, for the same purpose.

         When Plaintiff exited his car in Accurate's parking lot on April 11, 2014, he was talking on his cell phone. Plaintiff walked to the front door of the Premises and stood with his back to the door while he concluded his phone call. After concluding his phone call, Plaintiff turned to his left to open the front door of the Premises.

         Plaintiff stepped through the doorway of the Premises with his right foot with no problem. When Plaintiff stepped with his left foot his toe caught on a rise in the door frame, and Plaintiff tripped and fell. The parties agree that there is a raised metal frame at the entryway of the Premises. Accurate asserted that the frame is "raised approximately ¾ of an inch from the sidewalk . . . ." Plaintiff claimed to be without knowledge as to the precise height of the metal frame.

         Plaintiff filed suit against Accurate and R&R in March of 2015 alleging that the threshold at the Premises was unreasonably dangerous. Both Accurate and R&R filed motions for summary judgment arguing, in part, that Plaintiff could not establish the existence of a dangerous or defective condition, could not establish actual or constructive notice of any dangerous condition giving rise to a duty ...


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