Summary of Roberts v. State of Louisiana, Ct. of App. Louisiana, 1981
Facts: Around 12:45 p.m. Mr. Burson left his concession stand to go to the restroom within the U.S. Post Office-Louisiana. While walking down the hall he bumped into the PL who fell to the floor and injured his hip. Mr. Burson was totally blind and had operated the stand for three years. On the day of the injury Pl claims and Burson testified that Burson was not using his cane to get to the restroom, but relied on his facial senses.
Issue: Whether Df Burson was acting as a reasonable prudent blind person would have acted?
Procedure: Trial court dismissed PL suit. Affirmed.
Rule: A person, although blind, must take precautions, be they more or less, which the ordinary reasonable man would take if he were blind.
Ct. Rationale: It is not uncommon for blind people to rely on other techniques when moving around in a familiar setting. Burson testified that he was familiar with his surroundings. He had specialized training for mobility, his use of facial sense to navigate is utilized by 9 out of 10 blind people in familiar settings, and testimony to the fact it was not unreasonable for him to do so. There was no evidence that Burson was walking too fast, not paying attention, et cetera.
PL A: The election of Burson to not use his cane, was negligent and led to the injury.
Def A: Burson exercised a standard of care that handicapped people exercise under the same circumstances.