On April 22, 2020, GRSLBG&B’s Rey Villanueva and Alexis Carrelli obtained Summary Judgment in a personal injury matter in which Plaintiff allegedly sustained a traumatic brain injury and significant orthopedic injuries. Plaintiff, a store manager of a national retail store, alleged that on September 18, 2017, he was caused to fall in a freight elevator shaft while he was unloading merchandise. Plaintiff alleged that the control panel of the freight elevator was “jumped,” which allowed the freight elevator to operate with the safety doors open. Plaintiff alleged that the elevator maintenance companies and GRSLBG&B’s client, the management company of the mall, was negligent for the happening of the accident. During the course of discovery, specifically, responses to demand for admissions and interrogatories, along with the deposition testimony of the parties, it was revealed that the management company was not responsible for the maintenance of the elevator as the elevator was not identified as a common area in the management agreement.
Based upon the record and prevailing law, the Trial Court granted Summary Judgment in favor of the management company as the Trial Court found that the management company did not owe a duty to the Plaintiff. Specifically, the Court found that the overwhelming evidence demonstrated that the management company was not responsible for the maintenance of the freight elevator. Additionally, the Trial Court found that the overwhelming evidence demonstrated that instead, the national retail store, a tenant of the mall, was responsible for the maintenance of the freight elevator as the freight elevator was used exclusively by the store’s employees. Even prior to the grant of Summary Judgment, GRSLBG&B secured a separate, but equally favorable, result as risk transfer was successfully obtained from the retail store for full defense and indemnification in connection with the ongoing litigation, in addition to receiving a full reimbursement of all past defense fees and costs.
Congratulations to Rey and Alexis on a job well done!