Summary Judgment Granted!

Attorneys: Burden, Ernie 

Related Practices: Premises Liability

Related Industries: Insurance


March 2011

Ernie Burden and Jennifer Turiello were successful in obtaining a summary judgment ruling on behalf of their clients, a Homeowners Association and a Real Estate Management company.

Plaintiff, who is also a member of the Homeowners Association, had brought a lawsuit after suffering severe and permanent injuries. She suffered her injuries when she slipped while attempting to ascend a stainless steel ladder in the deep end of the Homeowners Association’s pool. The Plaintiff alleged that at the time of the accident, the pool’s ladder was in a state of disrepair and it lacked sufficient slip resistance surface on the ladder’s rungs.

The Plaintiff disclosed a park’s recreational expert who testified that the ladder was substandard. On behalf the defendants we retained a former, US Naval Academy mechanical engineer, who tested the ladder and opined it met industry standards for sufficient slip resistance.

The Plaintiff’s treating surgeon, placed an electronic nerve stimulator in her back for pain control. (She will require three additional surgeries in her lifetime to replace the stimulator’s battery.) He opined that was the only proper means of treatment for her injuries. Defendants reviewing medical experts agreed with plaintiff’s treating surgeon. Therefore, the defendants were left with no defense to the plaintiff’s medical claims.

The Plaintiff demanded 1.5 million dollars to settle. After the firm’s trial committee convened, an offer of $100.000 was extended that was rejected.

In granting defendants’ motion for summary judgment, the circuit court opined that, as a matter of law, the defendants could not be held liable for the plaintiff’s injuries because they did not have prior knowledge of any alleged defective condition of the pool’s ladder.

The trial date was stricken.

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