MMP&S Prevails on Motion for Summary Judgment, Affirmed on Appeal, and Recouped Defense Costs

MMP&S Miami-based partners, Michael Lynott, Martina Lanfersiek, and Crystal Arocha prevailed on a Motion for Summary Judgment in Indian River County, Florida, on a premises liability case in which the firm represented a residential home builder. The Plaintiff in the case was walking her dog and stepped off the sidewalk to follow it, just inside the property line and into the adjacent grass of a lot owned by the builder on which construction of a home was in progress. She tripped over construction materials obscured by the grass, causing her injuries which resulted in surgical intervention. Through development of fact specific deposition testimony, supporting the contention that the Plaintiff was uninvited onto the property, Ms. Lanfersiek prepared and argued a Motion for Summary Judgment. The Presiding Circuit Court Judge, Janet Croom, ruled that the Plaintiff was a trespasser as a matter of law, despite arguments by Plaintiff that the lot was commonly used by others for dog walking which should make the Plaintiff classified as an invitee, and the Court granted Final Summary Judgment in favor of the defendant builder. Plaintiff appealed to the Fourth District Court of Appeal, and Ms. Arocha crafted the appellate pleadings, ultimately leading to a Per Curiam Affirmed Order from the Appellate Court. Additionally, as a result of pursuit of a Third-Party Claim filed against the builder’s subcontractor which left the materials on the jobsite and their insurers for their failure to accept the builder’s demand for defense and indemnification, Mr. Lynott and Ms. Lanfersiek were able to recoup the defense costs billed by MMP&S in defense of the case for the client.

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