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FIRM NEWS — PREMISES LIABILITY: In a case defended by Jackson O’Keefe, LLP, the Appellate Court affirms summary judgment for the defendant, holding there is no duty to control conduct of a third party where no special relationship existed

The Appellate Court upheld trial court’s granting of defendant homeowner’s Motion for Summary Judgment ruling that the defendant owed the plaintiff no duty.  The estate of the decedent  brought a negligence and premises liability against the defendant for failure to protect the plaintiff from overdosing on the premises.   The plaintiff alleged that the plaintiff had a duty to control the actions of a friend residing on the premises, who allegedly provided drugs to the plaintiff.  The plaintiff alleged that the defendant knew of the presence of the drugs and failed to remove the drugs from the premises.  The Appellate Court holds there was no basis for finding a special relationship existed between the defendant and house guest giving rise to a duty to control the conduct of the house guest/friend. As to the claim that the defendant failed to protect the plaintiff when she should have known that house guest possessed drugs and alcohol in her home, the Appellate Court ruled this claim “cannot succeed because the alleged ‘defect’ in the premises was another party’s conduct”. Robert Goody, Administrator (Estate of Richard Goody) v. Michael J. Bedard, et al, AC 42259 (Oct. 6, 2020)