Gray•Duffy prevails on plaintiff’s appeal at trial court level in trip and fall lawsuit.

December 2019

Gray•Duffy obtains summary judgment in favor of property owner and property manager in trip and fall lawsuit involving serious injuries, and then prevails on the appeal filed by the Plaintiff.

Overview:

Michael Eisenbaum and Michelle MacDonald of Gray•Duffy’s Encino office successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of the firm’s property owner and property manager clients. Plaintiff then filed an appeal of the judgment in favor of the defendants. Following the full briefing and oral argument with the Court of Appeal, the appellate court issued its opinion that the Motion for Summary Judgment was properly granted. All costs were awarded to the prevailing defendants.

Discussion:

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Plaintiff, Valieh Shamtoubian, is an 89-year-old woman who alleges that she fell on February 27, 2015, because of nails protruding from a raised wooden transition strip separating the wooden floor in the unit from vinyl tiles in the kitchen area. As a result of her fall, Plaintiff sustained serious injuries including her right arm and shoulder, ribs and hip, and claimed medical expenses (past and future) of approximately $300,000. She then sued the property owner and property manager, both of whom were defended by Gray•Duffy.

After conducting detailed discovery, the defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. The Motion was hotly contested by the Plaintiff’s counsel. Nevertheless, the Trial Court granted the Motion, and issued judgment in favor of the defendants, who were also awarded costs in the amount of $5,161. Plaintiff filed an Appeal of the Judgment on the grounds that the Trial Court erred in finding that the defendants were entitled to judgment as a matter of law, due to the lack of actual notice of the alleged dangerous condition that caused the Plaintiff to fall.

Following the full briefing and oral argument with the Court of Appeal, the appellate court issued its opinion that the Motion for Summary Judgment was properly granted. Costs on Appeal were also awarded to the defendants. The decision of the Court of Appeal is now final.

Please Note: This article is necessarily general in nature and is not a substitute for legal advice with respect to any particular case. Readers should consult with an attorney before taking any action affecting their interests.