The defendant has filed a motion for summary judgment in order for the court to dismiss the complaint made by the plaintiff. Based on the following information and evidence, the court grants summary judgment to the defendant.
According to court law, a party that seeks summary judgment should be able to show that it is entitled to the remedy by establishing sufficient evidence. The defendant in this case has to show proof that the plaintiff has no case against it.
The plaintiff has filed a personal injury complaint against the defendant for sustaining personal injuries due to a trip and fall accident. According to the plaintiff, the accident happened on a street curb while she was walking. The plaintiff was preparing to cross the road when she tripped on raised projection or area of the road. The owner of the property had hired another party to manage the premises in which the street belongs to.
The provisions of the law state that the owner of the property should have no liability in the repairs and upkeep of public property unless it is the owner that created the defect on the road. The owner will also gain liability when he or she has designated the same property for a specific use.
The law further states that the responsibility of repairing sidewalks and streets from the abutting property is placed upon the owners of the property. The administrative code also states that the injuries relating to the violation of that responsibility is also considered a breach of duty. It was noted by the court that the actual location where the plaintiff allegedly fell was not exactly on the sidewalk but on the curb. The law in this regard, considers the curb as part of the street. On the other hand, the law defines the sidewalk as the area of the street located between the lines of the curb. The sidewalk does not include the curb in this definition. Based from the review of the code, the owner of the property does not have any liability when it comes to the issue of repairing curbs.
It was also noted that based on the plaintiff’s statement, he tripped on a curb and not a particular sidewalk. When the plaintiff was asked again for purposes of clarification, the plaintiff asserted that he fell because he tripped on a curb. The plaintiff further stated that his foot got caught by a raised projection on the curb when he was about to cross the street.
According to the plaintiff’s argument, the sidewalk was still part of the cause since the sidewalk was somehow lower than the curb. According to a consultant’s opinion, there was a height difference between the sidewalk and the curb. Based on expert opinion, the sidewalk had begun to sink over the years because of constant use. However, the court sees the written statement of this consultant as immaterial to the case since it fails to establish the issue being raised.
The consultant’s report contained an explanation of safety standards and regulations, the dangers in cases of height differences and the location of the defect. The court did not find anything relevant to the case that will support the plaintiff’s argument. The court has determined that the consultant did not explain the relevance of her measurements. There was also no mention as to the cause of the plaintiff’s fall, whether it was a sidewalk or curb defect.
The court has also noted that the consultant made a conclusive statement regarding the sidewalk being sunken or lower than the curb. Based on the photographs presented for evidence, there was no indication that proves the sunken sidewalk. The report did not contain any mention of the defect’s condition.
Since the plaintiff cannot prove that the defendant is liable for damages sustained, the court has granted the motion for summary judgment to the defendant and dismissed the case.
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