MSZL&M South Florida Office Secures Summary Judgment for Client on Premises Liability Case
Nov 16, 2021 - About the Firm by Steven J. Mitchel
South Florida Partner, Randy J. Lipkien, obtained summary judgment in a premises liability claim against our client, a construction contractor. Plaintiff claimed she sustained serious injuries tripping over a curb leading into her place of employment. Plaintiff claimed the curb was constructed “too high” causing her to get her foot caught on it and fall to the ground. Our client maintained that the curb was constructed according to architectural plans and passed inspection. There were also two alternate means of ingress into the building the Plaintiff could have taken to gain access. Additionally, the curb was an open and obvious condition about which Plaintiff should have been aware.
At deposition, Plaintiff testified she had stepped over the curb several times in the past without incident. Plaintiff also testified that at the time of her fall the curb was not chipped, broken or otherwise defective. Additionally, the Plaintiff did not measure the height of the curb showing why it was “too high.” Mr. Lipkien argued the lack of defect, alternate routes, prior notice of the curb and open and obvious nature of the curb was enough to grant summary judgment in our clients favor because the duties to warn and maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition were not mutually exclusive. Plaintiff was unable to produce any record evidence of how the curb height presented a negligent or hazardous condition.
After hearing argument of counsel for all parties and considering the evidence presented, the Court agreed with Mr. Lipkien’s arguments and granted Summary Judgment for our client effectively dismiss the lawsuit.