Kelly V. Movie Theater

Topics: Tort, Law, Tort law Pages: 9 (1965 words) Published: October 19, 2012
A. Kelly v Movie Theater:


Negligence requires a showing that a duty was owed, that the duty was breached, and that the breach was the actual and proximate cause of damages.

Special Duty – Land Occupier - Invitee

A special duty arises in circumstances involving a land occupier. An invitee is one who enters the land with the owner’s permission for the purpose related to the activity. The landowner owes an invitee a duty of care to inspect and discover any dangerous condition and to make the premises safe.

Kelly went to the Movie Theater to see a movie. Hence, Kelly is a social guest entering with Movie Theater’s permission and thus an invitee. Because Kelly was an invitee, The Movie Theater owed a duty to Kelly to inspect the premises, discover, and remove any known dangers.


The Movie Theater knew that restroom sink pipe was broken and did not warn Kelly, or any other patron, of the leaky sink pipe in the restroom. Theater did not warn of water in front of the restroom sinks. Their failure to warn Kelly of the dangerous condition was a breach of their duty of due care.

However, the Movie Theater will argue that they did call for a plumber to fix the pipe and the plumber could not come until the following day. Further, they sent an employee into the restroom to mop up the water every 15 minutes. However, Movie Theater should have placed some type of warning of the water.

Therefore, Movie Theater breached their duty of due care owed to Kelly.

Actual Causation

“But for” the failure to warn of the water in front of the restroom sink in the girls restroom Kelly would not have slipped on a puddle of water and suffer a painful shoulder injury.

Thus, the Movie Theater is the actual cause of Kelly’s injuries

Proximate Causation

It is foreseeable if you fail to warn of a puddle of water on the floor, that one could slip and become injured.

Therefore, Movie Theater is the proximate cause of Kelly's injures.

General Damages

General damages are those damages that flow from the tort. Plaintiff must have sustained actual damages to person or property to recover for negligence.

Kelly suffered a painful shoulder. She should recover general damages for her pain and suffering.

Therefore, general damages are recoverable.

Special Damages

Plaintiff may recover for any medical damages or lost of income if specifically plead.

Kelly should be able to recover damages for out-of-pocket expenses related to the hospitalization and other related medical care for her shoulder.

Therefore, special damages if plead and proven are recoverable.

B. Cindy and Sandy v. Movie Theater


Duty - Trespasser

A trespasser is one who comes upon the land without the permission of the owner. The general rule is that there is no duty owed to a trespasser.

Cindy and Sandy broke into the Movie Theater after it had closed for the night. Thus, they came upon the land without the permission of the Movie Theater. Movie Theater will argue since Cindy and Sandy were trespassers there is no duty owed.

Therefore, there is no duty of care owed to Cindy or Sandy.

General Duty – Rowland v. Christian

However, pursuant to Rowland v. Christian, a minority rule, Movie Theater owes a duty to act as a reasonable person under the same or similar circumstances. Thus, Movie Theater had a duty of due care to make sure that anyone coming onto the premises did so without harm.

Therefore, Movie Theater owes a duty of due care to Cindy and Sandy.


Since Movie Theater’s employee left the vacuum plugged in and because there were no lights in the Theater, Cindy tripped over a cord that was left plugged in across the aisles and fell head first into a row of seats. Further, Sandy ran to the restroom to get some paper towels for Cindy’s face that was bleeding and slipped on the wet floor because it was dark in the Theater and she did not see the...
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