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PERSONAL INJURY: Summary Judgment Granted on Behalf of Municipality with Regard to Fall at Transfer Station

PERSONAL INJURY: Summary Judgment Granted On Behalf Of Municipality With Regard To Fall At Transfer Station

The plaintiff alleged that she was injured while attempting to access a dumpster for cardboard at the Town of Salisbury transfer station.  She claimed that she was caused to fall due to a defective lip covered with ice and debris.

The plaintiff alleged that the area where she fell qualified as a “defective sidewalk” within the scope of the defective highway statute, C.G.S. §13a-149.  Following an Appellate Court decision obtained by Jackson O’Keefe, Reed v. Plymouth, 110 Conn.App. 657, cert. denied, 289 Conn. 955 (2008), the Superior Court holds that in the case at bar, the area in question did not qualify as a “road or bridge” for the purposes of the so-called defective highway statute.

Attorney Kathryn M. Cunningham of Jackson O’Keefe argued that access to the area where the plaintiff allegedly fell was not open to the public, but was restricted in several pertinent ways.  The court agreed.  The court noted that only Sharon and Salisbury residents who paid an annual fee and obtained a permit could use the transfer station.  The court further noted that the transfer station was open only limited hours on certain days.  When the transfer station is closed, the gates are not only closed but also locked.  The location of the fall was inside the gated entrance.  The court further noted that the only road in any proximity to the transfer station was a state road, which was 250 to 260 feet from the accident site.

Nugent v. Town of Salisbury, CV15-6012466-S (5/6/16 Moore, J.)

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