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Rider v. The Young Men's Christian Association of Greater Kansas City

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Second Division

January 13, 2015

ISAIAH RIDER, a Minor, by and through his Natural Mother and Next Friend, MICHELLE RIDER, Appellant-Respondent,
v.
THE YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF GREATER KANSAS CITY, Respondent-Appellant

Page 379

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 380

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri. The Honorable Charles H. McKenzie, Judge.

For Appellant-Respondent: R. Douglas Gentile, Randall L. Rhodes, Jeffrey D. Rowe, and Brennan B. Delaney, Leawood, KS.

For Respondent-Appellant: Casey O. Housley and Krystle M. Dunn, Kansas City, MO, and Thomas B. Weaver, St. Louis, MO.

Before Division II: Joseph M. Ellis, Presiding Judge, and Victor C. Howard and Mark D. Pfeiffer, Judges. Joseph M. Ellis, Presiding Judge, and Victor C. Howard, Judge, concur.

OPINION

Mark D. Pfeiffer, Judge

Page 381

Isaiah Rider (" Rider" ), by and through his next friend and mother, Michelle Rider (" Mother" ), appeals the judgment of the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri (" trial court" ), following a jury trial, which awarded him damages against The Young Men's Christian Association of Greater Kansas City (" YMCA" ) in the amount of $590,652.50. On appeal, Rider claims that the trial court erred in submitting a failure to keep a careful lookout comparative fault instruction because there was no evidence supporting it. YMCA filed a cross-appeal alleging four points of error and filed a motion to strike a portion of Rider's appellate reply brief. We grant Rider's point on appeal, deny YMCA's points on cross-appeal, deny YMCA's motion to strike,[1] and hereby enter the judgment the trial court should have entered, which is to award Rider the full amount of damages found by the jury, not reduced by any percentage of comparative fault.

Factual and Procedural Background

Rider was six years old in December of 2003. He attended an after-school daycare that was run by YMCA at a facility located in Kansas. On December 16, 2003, YMCA staff directed the children in the after-school daycare to play outside on the playground. There was melting snow and melting ice on the playground where the children were playing. After some time, YMCA staff directed the children to come back into the building through a door that led from the playground directly into the cafeteria, which had a smooth tile floor. There was no floor mat at or near the door

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on which the children could dry their feet. YMCA staff then directed the children to cross the cafeteria to a large communal sink where the children were told to wash their hands. Again, no floor mat was placed near the sink to absorb any water that might splash or drip from the sink or from the hands or shoes of the children standing at the sink. Rider was the last child to wash his hands. After the children washed their hands, YMCA staff directed them to cross the cafeteria tile floor again and line up. After Rider left the sink and was crossing the cafeteria heading toward the other children, he slipped on the tile floor, fell, and broke his left tibia. Although Rider had not seen any water on the floor, he believed that he had slipped in some water, ...


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