Summary Judgment – Slip and Fall – Broward County

Ft. Lauderdale Partner, Genevieve Rupelli obtained a Final Summary Judgment in Broward County in a premises liability case against a homeowner. Plaintiff mis stepped from a single step during her first visit to the Insured’s home during a house party. The 75 year old, Plaintiff sustained a rotator cuff tear to her shoulder that required two surgical interventions. Plaintiff specifically alleged the Defendant failed to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition and failed to warn Plaintiff of the dangerous condition.

The Defendant argued she had no obligation to warn since the Plaintiff had walked up the subject step only moments before falling down from it. The Court recognized the litany of cases that have found that single steps in residential properties are so common place that they are to be expected and should not be considered an inherently dangerous condition. The Court considered the Plaintiff’s own testimony that she needed no warning to step onto the step as it was obvious to her, coupled with the lack of evidence from the Plaintiff that the step posed an optical illusion, was not code complaint, or that others had fallen from it prior to Plaintiff.

Accordingly, the Court reasoned that since the step was so obvious and not, in and of itself, inherently dangerous, the premises was well maintained in a reasonably safe condition and the Defendant did not owe Plaintiff a duty to warn. Defendant was granted final summary judgment in their favor.

Genevieve Rupelli
(954) 703-3759

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