Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Motion To Dismiss Slip And Fall Case Granted Where Plaintiff Did Not Sue All of the Owners

In the case of Simone v. Alam, No. 1536 MDA 2022 (Pa. Super. Sept. 21, 2023 Panella, P. J., Murray, J., Stevens, P.J.E.)(Op. by Murray, J.), the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed a trial court dismissal of a Plaintiff’s slip and fall accident for failing to join an indispensable party to the action, that being the co-owner of the property. The court ruled in this fashion due to the fact that the Plaintiff’s claim was expressly premised, in part, on ownership of the property.

According to the Opinion, the Plaintiff slipped and fell at a rental property owned and maintained by the Defendant. The Plaintiff fell on an outdoor staircase allegedly as a result of ice that accumulated from leaky gutters and rain spouts.

According to the Opinion, the parties agreed that the co-owners of the property owned the properties as tenants in common.

The Plaintiff attempted to assert that the absent owner was merely a tenant in common who exercised no possession of control over the property and that his only interest in the property was his contribution to financing it.

The Superior Court noted that the failure to join an indispensable party implicated the court’s subject matter jurisdiction. The court stated that Pennsylvania case law required the joinder of tenants in common where liability arose out of the ownership of real property. Here, it was reiterated that the Plaintiff asserted premises liability arising, at least in part, out of the Defendants’ ownership of the property.

As noted, the appellate court sustained the trial court’s dismissal of the action.

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

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Oct. 10, 2023).


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.