Summary Judgment Granted for Defendant Snow Removal Contractor

Attorney John G. Miller successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of a snow removal contractor in a slip and fall case brought in Hartford Superior Court.

The plaintiff alleged she slipped and fell on ice on while walking outside of her apartment complex.  As a result of her fall, the plaintiff claimed she sustained serious injuries including a right ankle fracture with dislocation requiring ORIF surgery, medical bills totaling more than $50,000, lost wages, ongoing pain and physical limitations.

The plaintiff brought suit against the property owner and property manager sounding in negligence.  The property owner and manager filed a third party complaint against the snow removal contractor asserting claims for common law and contractual indemnification.  In its third-party complaint, the property manager alleged the plaintiff’s fall occurred in the parking lot and that the snow removal contractor had failed to property treat the subject area.  The third-party plaintiff cited the ambulance report and an incident report which both indicated the plaintiff’s fall had occurred in the parking lot for which the snow removal contractor was responsible.  The plaintiff filed a direct claim against the snow removal contractor shortly thereafter.

Following the plaintiff’s deposition, Attorney Miller filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on behalf of the snow removal contractor.  The property owner and management company opposed the summary judgment motion, arguing that the conflicting evidence contained in the incident report (which had been prepared by an employee of the management company) and ambulance report created a genuine issue of material fact.  Attorney Miller successfully argued that the statements relied upon by the property owner and manager were inadmissible hearsay that did not fall within any applicable exception.

Judge Peck of Hartford Superior Court found that the statements regarding the accident locus contained in the ambulance and incident reports constituted hearsay, ruled that the defendant snow removal contractor had no duty to remove snow and ice in the subject area, and granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant snow removal contractor.