Howard Trafman Secures Summary Judgment in Premises Case
Plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint against our client- the premises owner, a general contractor, and architect for injuries one of the Plaintiffs allegedly sustained on June 26, 2017, while working on the roof at a construction project.
Plaintiff allegedly fell from a ladder when the roof beneath the ladder caved in or gave way. The defendants in turn sued Plaintiff’s employer, a subcontractor at the construction project. Although the count against our client was unlabeled, we argued the language set forth within the count amounted to a claim under Section 343 Restatement – Premises Liability.
Section 343 states:
“A possessor of land is subject to liability for physical harm caused to his invitees by a condition on the land if, but only if, he:
a. Knows or by exercise of reasonable care would discover the condition, and should realize it involves an unreasonable risk of harm to such invitees;
b. Should expect that they will not discover or realize the danger, or will fail to protect themselves against it, and
c. Fails to exercise reasonable care to protect them against the danger.
Following the completion of fact witness depositions, Howard Trafman filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on behalf of our client arguing that Plaintiff failed to prove each requisite element of Section 343. The Motion for Summary Judgment was granted. Of note Plaintiff sustained orthopedic and head injuries and was claiming over $100,000 in medical specials and a loss of earning of $200,000 or more. At a recent pretrial conference which took place prior to the ruling, Plaintiff had lowered his settlement demand from $700,000 to $350,000. The case did not settle. At the outset of the case, our client had tendered its defense to the general contractor at the construction site and its insurer. The general contractor’s insurer accepted the tender under a ROR but filed a declaratory judgment action which was pending. The general contractor remained a defendant in the lawsuit. This was a great result for our client and its insurer.