Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summary Judgment Granted in Lehigh County Slip and Fall on Slushy Ice Case

Judge Carol McGinley of the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas recently entered summary judgment in favor of a Defendant in the case of Havir v. Fountain Hill Dev’t Associates, PICS Case No. 12-1003 (C.P. Lehigh Co. May 2, 2012 McGinley, J.).

The Court relied, in part, on the assumption of risk doctrine and found that the defendant was entitled to summary judgment where a Plaintiff voluntarily proceeded in the face of an obvious and dangerous condition when she chose to walk over a “slushy ice” in the parking lot of her apartment complex in an attempt to reach her car and slipped and fell.

According to reports on the opinion, the Plaintiff’s deposition testimony established that she knew that she was facing an obvious and dangerous condition. However, the Plaintiff attempted to argue that her decision to walk through the slush and ice was not voluntary because she did not have a reasonable alternative to get to her car.

The Court disagreed and found that the Plaintiff did not establish that she was compelled to get to her car or that she was precluded from safely returning to her apartment while she waited for the slush to be removed from the parking lot.

Accordingly, the Court found that the Defendants did not owe the Plaintiff a duty of care where the Plaintiff voluntarily proceeded in the face of an obvious and dangerous condition when she attempted to walk across the parking lot. As such, the Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment was granted.

A copy of this case can be secured from the Pennsylvania Law Weekly Instant Case Service by calling       1-800-276-7427 and providing the PICS Case number noted above.

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (May 29, 2012).

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