News & Events

Appellate Advocacy Group Obtains Favorable Decision

Butler Snow attorneys LeAnn W. Nealey and Donna Brown Jacobs of the firm’s Appellate Advocacy group recently obtained a favorable decision from the Mississippi Supreme Court reversing a $2.5 Million judgment against a major grocery retailer. This premises liability case involved a woman who was beaten in a purse snatching on the store premises. Clarifying the scope of a business owner’s duty of care, the Court found as a matter of law that, in the context of the retailer’s more than three million customer visits over the course of three years, the four incidences of criminal activity the customer presented were insufficient to establish the requisite atmosphere of violence on the retailer’s parking lot. Additionally, the fact that crime occurred throughout the I-55 corridor within which the store was located, absent sufficient evidence of criminal activity on the retailer’s property, or near enough to pose a danger to the retailer’s customers, was insufficient to establish liability. The Court also held that the evidence was insufficient to find that the assailant’s attack on the customer was a foreseeable consequence of not having an armed guard in the parking lot, and thus the retailer had no duty to provided armed security in its lot.