skip to Main Content

PREMISES LIABILITY: Trial court holds defendant not liable for plaintiff’s fall on sidewalk and ordinance did not create liability-shifting obligation

The plaintiff brought suit against the defendant for injuries sustained when she slipped and fell on the sidewalk in front of the defendant’s property.

The plaintiff alleged that the sidewalk was uneven and had holes and argued that the city had created a liability-shifting obligation through an ordinance requiring abutting property owners to ensure that sidewalks were maintained in a safe condition.  The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that the sidewalk was city property and liability could not be placed on the owner of the abutting property for failure to maintain an even sidewalk without holes.

The Court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, holding that the ordinance merely created a means of shifting the cost of maintenance to a landowner but did not create third-party liability for failure to maintain an even sidewalk.

Burke v. Lumani, No. CV-17-6075456-S (08/24/18)