Appeals court rejects Tippah verdict challenge

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

JACKSON – Patty Howell’s appeal of a Tippah County lawsuit verdict was rejected Tuesday by the Mississippi Court of Appeals.
In a 9-0 vote, the court upheld the jury’s verdict in favor of Peggy Holiday, doing business at Salon 15 in a strip mall on Highway 15 in Ripley.
Howell claimed in her 2008 lawsuit that it was Holiday’s fault when Howell tripped over an extension cord extending across the parking lot at the shopping center where a TV station was hosting a music program hours after Holiday closed her shop.
In late 2011, the jury determined that Holiday was not liable. Judge Robert W. Elliott presided over the trial.
Howell’s appeal was based on four issues, which the Court of Appeals rejected, saying the trial judge did not err in decisions made during the trial.
“The duty Holiday owed Howell depended entirely on Howell’s status on the premises at the time,” the appeals court stated.
Howell was more an “invitee” of the landlord, James R. Neal Sr., than Holiday because Neal was working at the BKN-TV 19 local gospel singing event that Howell planned to attend at the shopping center, Judge Virginia Carlton wrote for the court.
patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com