Summary Judgment Granted / Trip & Fall Outside Restaurant


Attorney Kelly Petter successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of defendant property owners in an action filed in New Haven Superior Court.  The plaintiff filed an action against a doughnut restaurant and the owners of the property alleging that she tripped and fell due to a gap in the pavement located outside the restaurant.  As a result of her fall, the plaintiff claimed she sustained serious facial, back, neck and knee injuries.

Following written discovery and several depositions, Attorney Petter moved for summary judgment on behalf of the defendant property owners arguing that the co-defendant doughnut restaurant had “possessory interest” and wholly occupied, maintained, managed and controlled the subject property at the time of the plaintiff’s fall.  In support of her argument,  Attorney Petter pointed to co-defendant’s responses to admissions, the lease between the defendants, and affidavits signed by property owners stating that the co-defendant restaurant fully controlled and maintained the subject property.

Plaintiff counsel filed an opposition or motion to deny summary judgment on the grounds that additional discovery was required to determine whether the property owners had any control of the subject property at the time of plaintiff’s fall.  The court ruled that no further discovery was necessary and found that Attorney Petter had clearly established that no duty existed between the property owners and the plaintiff.  The court entered summary judgment in favor of the defendant property owners.

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