Morrison Mahoney Partner Grace Garcia and Associate Steve Troiano recently prevailed on a summary judgment motion at Bristol Superior Court.
The plaintiff, a crane operator, alleged that he slipped on ice or oil on the deck of a crane and sustained a significant back injury, for which he alleged permanent disability. His alleged damages were over $750,000. The plaintiff brought suit against the crane dealer that sold the crane to his employer, and upon whose property the crane was being stored pending delivery. More specifically, the plaintiff claimed that the crane dealer owed it a duty of care as the crane dealer was giving training to the plaintiff on the particular operations of the crane.
Grace and Steve moved for summary judgment on behalf of the crane dealer arguing that it owed no duty of care to the plaintiff because it had already sold the crane to plaintiff’s employer and the crane was not part of the premises it owned, controlled, or maintained. In response, the plaintiff contended that he was on the defendant’s property receiving training in the use of the crane and that defendant had a duty to keep the crane’s deck in a safe condition. The Court ruled in our client’s favor and held that the crane dealer did not owe the plaintiff any duty. The Court noted that the crane itself was not a feature or fixture upon the defendant’s property. It was a piece of merchandise, and having been sold, care in its use lied with the operator and owner absent a contractual or assumed duty to make it safe for operation