Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Summary Judgment Granted in Construction Area Trip and Fall Case

In the case of Cappolella v. R & R. Constr., No. 4526-CV-2017 (C.P. Monroe Co., Sept. 22, 2020, Williamson, J.), the court entered summary judgment in favor of a tenant Defendant in a trip and fall case. 

According to the Opinion, the moving Defendant was a tenant in a commercial building that was under construction. The Plaintiff’s Complaint alleged that he sustained injuries when he fell while performing construction work elsewhere on the premises. The moving Defendant was a tenant on the premises and operated a pizzeria. Other Defendants were construction companies performing work on the premises. 

The moving tenant Defendant filed a Motion for Summary Judgment arguing that it had no involvement with the work being performed by the construction Defendants. Under the lease in the records, the moving Defendant was only responsible for any repairs to its portion of the lease premises and that it had no responsibility for the maintenance for the rest of the building. 

The moving Defendant asserted that it had no knowledge of any of the construction being performed elsewhere on the premises at the time of the Plaintiff’s alleged injuries. The moving Defendant also asserted that it did not even know about the accident until notified of the same by the Plaintiff’s attorney. 

In the Plaintiff’s response, it was asserted that the tenant Defendant was generally liable as a possessor of land. 

The court disagreed and granted summary judgment in favor of that particular Defendant after finding that the Plaintiff failed to allege sufficient fact to make out a claim that the tenant Defendant had acted negligently. The court emphasized that there was no evidence that the tenant Defendant had hired, directed, or managed any of the work being performed by the construction Defendants. It was also emphasized that the Plaintiff was not injured on the portion of the premises leased by the moving Defendant. 

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Nov. 10, 2020). 

Need assistance in bringing your slip or trip and fall case, or your construction case, to a close.  Please consider CUMMINS MEDIATION SERVICES.  

Contact Dan Cummins today at dancummins@CumminsLaw.net or at 570-319-5899 to schedule your Mediation.

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