Archive - Premises Liability

Lee Smart attorneys have extensive experience in the Areas of Practice shown to the right. Click on one to learn more about our expertise and our attorneys in that practice.

November 19, 2013

Summary Judgment of Dismissal in Premises Liability Case

Philip B. Grennan and Donna M. Young prevailed before the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division Two upholding a summary judgment of dismissal in a premises liability case.  The trial court in Thurston County Superior Court had granted summary judgment in favor of Donna and Phil’s client in the case of Tavai v. XYZ Corp, dismissing all of plaintiff’s liability claims against their client/defendant.  Plaintiff had alleged that XYZ Corporation’s procedures for the elimination of hazardous conditions, here, water on the floor, was negligent.  Plaintiff also alleged that, because of the nature of the water spill on the floor, the self service exception regarding notice applied, and defendant’s lack of actual notice was not controlling.  After the summary judgment of dismissal was granted in favor of defendant XYZ Corp., plaintiff appealed to Division Two of the Washington State Court of Appeals.  The appellate court recently ruled that the trial court was correct; that the self service exception did not apply, and the summary judgment of dismissal of all claims against defendant XYZ Corp. was proper.

Lee Smart attorneys have extensive experience in the Areas of Practice shown to the right. Click on one to learn more about our expertise and our attorneys in that practice.

November 18, 2013

Washington Law Does Not Recognize Expansive Duty of Premises

Jeffrey P. Downer, Peter E. Sutherland, and Pamela J. DeVet won summary judgment in Cho v. Showbox II, LLC in the King County Superior Court, arguing successfully that the client owed no duty to pedestrians crossing a public street.  Plaintiff sued the City and the Showbox II Theater for injuries arising from a car/pedestrian accident on 1st Avenue South in Seattle outside the Showbox following an Ingrid Michaelson concert.  Plaintiff argues that the design and maintenance of the street was defective and that an accident involving concert goers was a foreseeable consequence when approximately 2,000 patrons exit the theater and cross the street while returning to their cars.  The court agreed that Washington law does not recognize an expansive duty of premises holders to protect business invitees for conditions off the property and this is particularly the case when the defective condition is in a public street for which the duty to maintain for public use falls on the City.

Lee Smart attorneys have extensive experience in the Areas of Practice shown to the right. Click on one to learn more about our expertise and our attorneys in that practice.

April 5, 2013

Office Building Restroom Slip

Joel Wright and Michael P. Ryan obtained a summary judgment of dismissal in Christensen v. Prium Companies, LLC.  The plaintiff brought a premises liability suit based on an alleged slip in an employee restroom in an office building at his place of employment.  Plaintiff’s theory was water on the restroom floor created an unreasonably dangerous condition.  The court held plaintiff did not produce any evidence of (1) an unreasonably dangerous condition, (2) that the property owner had notice of any unreasonably dangerous condition or (3) that the property owner failed to exercise ordinary care in maintaining the restroom.

Lee Smart attorneys have extensive experience in the Areas of Practice shown to the right. Click on one to learn more about our expertise and our attorneys in that practice.

Association By-Laws and Guidelines

Philip B. Grennan and Melinda R. Drogseth won a contested private arbitration hearing involving the suspension of a recreational camping association member by the Association’s Board of Directors.  In Lassonde v. Mountain River Trails Camping Association, the plaintiff had been suspended by the Association for violation of its by-laws and guidelines.  The plaintiff appealed to binding arbitration, pursuant to the Association’s terms.  Plaintiff alleged improper suspension, as well as other assorted damages, including attorney’s fees and reinstatement of full membership.  Phil and Mindy successfully defended the Association, winning an arbitration award fully in the Association’s favor, which included their client’s fees for defending the appeal.

Lee Smart attorneys have extensive experience in the Areas of Practice shown to the right. Click on one to learn more about our expertise and our attorneys in that practice.

Shortcut on Premises Involved in Falls

Philip B. Grennan won dismissal of two premises liability cases via summary judgment in King County Superior Court.  In both Christman v. XYZ Corp., et al. and Lauwers v. XYZ Corp., et al., plaintiffs alleged the defendants created and/or allowed a dangerous condition to exist where both plaintiffs fell, suffering personal injuries.  The alleged hazardous condition was a grassy slope next to an accessible stairwell. Patrons and business invitees, including both plaintiffs, were able to use the grassy sloped area as a shortcut instead of using the stairwell.  Phil successfully argued to the court that, although plaintiffs did fall, and had an expert saying the condition was unreasonably slippery and dangerous when wet, they had not met all the necessary elements in proving a premises liability case.  Consequently, judges in both cases granted summary judgment of dismissal.

Lee Smart attorneys have extensive experience in the Areas of Practice shown to the right. Click on one to learn more about our expertise and our attorneys in that practice.

Retail Premises Dangerous Condition Case

Philip B. Grennan and Erin J. Varriano won dismissal of all claims in Weatherill v. ABC, Inc.  Plaintiff claimed she suffered serious injuries when she tripped over a carpet located inside the entrance of a retail establishment.  Lacking proof of any defect with the carpet, the plaintiff argued that water on the ground caused her accident.  However, the plaintiff provided no proof supporting her claim that the store allowed a dangerous condition to exist on its premises.  The court agreed with Phil and Erin that something other than the fact that an accident occurred is necessary to establish liability and the plaintiff’s inability to prove the existence of an unreasonably dangerous condition warranted dismissal of the action.

Lee Smart attorneys have extensive experience in the Areas of Practice shown to the right. Click on one to learn more about our expertise and our attorneys in that practice.

Hazardous Condition in Store Case

Philip B. Grennan and Erin J. Varriano won summary judgment on behalf of their client XYZ Corp., in Weatherill v. XYZ Corp.  Plaintiff was injured when she slipped in the entranceway at defendant store.  She sued XYZ Corp. for allowing a hazardous condition to exist.  The trial court dismissed the case, holding, that even if there was a potential hazard, the defendants had insufficient notice of the condition.

Lee Smart attorneys have extensive experience in the Areas of Practice shown to the right. Click on one to learn more about our expertise and our attorneys in that practice.

Parking Lot Ice Slip and Fall

Philip B. Grennan and Erin J. Varriano won the appeal of McElyea v. XYZ Corp., a premises-liability case. Plaintiff claimed that she suffered injuries when she slipped and fell on ice in the store’s parking lot. The trial court dismissed the claim on summary judgment and plaintiff appealed. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s finding that there was no evidence the store knew or should have known of an unreasonably dangerous condition in its parking lot, and the fact that plaintiff fell is not itself sufficient to show there was an unreasonably dangerous condition. … Phil Grennan and Erin Varriano also won summary judgment of dismissal in Miller v. XYZ Corp. Plaintiff alleged that a loose toilet seat slipped and caused him injury. He sued the store for negligently maintaining its premises. The judge agreed that the toilet seat was not dangerous where there was no evidence of prior similar injuries and the store used reasonable precautions to keep its premises safe for its customers. The judge dismissed all of plaintiff’s claims.

Lee Smart attorneys have extensive experience in the Areas of Practice shown to the right. Click on one to learn more about our expertise and our attorneys in that practice.

Trip and Fall Defense

Kenneth E. Hepworth won summary judgment in Pressey v. CHA Southcenter, LLC, dba Doubletree Guest Suites. The lawsuit arose out of a trip-and-fall accident at the Doubletree Guest Suites. Plaintiff was at the Doubletree to attend a talent show in one of its ballrooms. Plaintiff tripped on a gym mat that had been laid across the front of the ballroom by one of the groups participating in the talent show. Doubletree did not own or provide gym mats for the talent show. Likewise, Doubletree was not involved in bringing gym mats into the ballroom or putting them down. After Doubletree finished setting up the ballroom according to the terms of the rental agreement, persons involved with the talent show brought gym mats into the ballroom. Whoever brought in the gym mats did not tape down the edges of the gym mat to prevent people from tripping. Plaintiff tripped on the gym mat as she was walking to one of the chairs on the gym mats. Ken argued that Doubletree did not owe plaintiff a duty of care with regard to the alleged tripping hazard because it was created after Doubletree turned over exclusive control of the ballroom. Although there are no Washington cases directly on point, Ken found some cases from other jurisdictions that supported his argument. The trial court agreed with Ken and dismissed all claims against Doubletree.

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn RSS

Archives