Obtaining summary judgment in premises liability cases is a difficult task, as courts often defer to the jury to decide whether a landowner is liable, even where the plaintiff’s injury results from an open and obvious condition on the property.
But Melick & Porter attorneys Elizabeth Fegreus and Bob Powers rose to the challenge, and successfully argued that a campground owner was not liable for hazards that were part of the natural landscape. Although the plaintiff’s testimony about the cause of her fall was uncertain, the judge gave her the benefit of the doubt and assumed she could prove that she fell on uneven and rocky ground at the campsite. However, because these conditions were part of the natural landscape, and the plaintiff failed to offer any evidence to suggest that they were unusual for an outdoor campsite and/or not apparent to a reasonable person, the court agreed that the owner owed no duty to remedy them or warn visitors of their existence.
Another big win for M&P and its client!