Monday, November 2, 2009

Latest Pennsylvania Law Weekly Article - "You'd Better Watch Your Step"

My latest article, entitled "You'd Better Watch Your Step: Premises liability defendants are having a banner year in Pennsylvania courts," appeared in the Pennsylvania Law Weekly last week. The article reviewed a number of defense-oriented decisions from across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in premises liability cases.

That article, as well as other articles of mine, can be viewed under my profile on JDSupra at http://www.jdsupra.com/profile/danielcummins.

This particular article on the premises liability cases can be found by clicking this link: http://www.jdsupra.com/post/documentViewer.aspx?fid=792bd369-89d3-4aff-9d68-2a4be9ee0c20.

Also, continuing the trend of recent cases in favor of Defendant landowners, the Beaver County Court of Common Pleas issued an opinion in Orlowski v. Magg’s, Inc., PICS Case No. 09-1822(C.P. Beaver Oct. 27, 2009, Kwidis, J.) granting summary judgment in favor of a bowling alley in a trip and fall case.

Relying upon the rule that a person has a duty to look where he or she is walking and see that which is obvious, the court granted summary judgment to the defendant in a case where a plaintiff tripped over the step separating the bowling alley floor from the bathroom floor, which was slightly higher.

The court was impressed by the fact that the step was painted bright yellow against the dark carpet of the bowling alley floor and the beige ceramic tile bathroom floor. Also there was a "Watch Your Step" sign posted outside of the restroom. Furthermore, during her deposition, the plaintiff admitted that she was not watching where she was going.

Judge Kwidis of the Beaver County Court of Common Pleas found that the plaintiff had a duty to watch where she was going and that the landowner had no duty is owed to protect invitees from open and obvious dangers. He also relied upon the Pennsylvania cases holding that a mere difference in elevation or doorstops were not deemed to be dangerous conditions.

A copy of this case can be secured from the Pennsylvania Law Weekly for a small fee by calling 1-800-276-7427 and giving the above PICS number.


My firm and I continue to handle premises liability cases (as well as auto accident matters) all across Northeastern Pennsylvania. Please feel free to contact me at dancummins@comcast.net should I be able to assist you in any regard with such matters.

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