Apr 29 2014

Courtroom Success 2014-19: Springfield Partner John F. Burke, Jr. and Associate Denise M. Tremblay

Springfield Partner John F. Burke, Jr. and Associate Denise M. Tremblay recently obtained summary judgment in a slip and fall case in Berkshire Superior Court for the firm’s client, a retailer, on the "transient weather condition" theory.  The plaintiff, who had previously undergone a below-the-knee amputation of his right leg and was ambulating on crutches re-injured his right leg ultimately resulting in an above-the-knee amputation, inability to use a prosthesis as had been planned, and nearly $100,000 in medical expenses.  The plaintiff entered the firm’s client’s premises and noticed that the entry mat was wet. (It had rained earlier in the morning and the ground was still wet when the plaintiff arrived at the store.)  As soon as his right crutch hit the tile floor beyond the mat, the plaintiff's crutch went out from under him - with in-store video showing the crutch striking a warning cone that was placed just beyond the mat.    Summary judgment was entered under the "transient weather condition" theory, that the floor was "just wet" from "water that was being tracked in by people coming in from outside."  

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