March 3, 2015

Pardalis & Nohavicka Premises Liability Law Update: Mail Carrier 's Claim of Homeowner's Defective Storm Door Fails

While delivering mail to the insured premises, a postal worker opened a storm door, squatted down, and held the storm door open with the left side of her body to reach the mail slot that was located in the wooden door, about six inches above the bottom.  After depositing the mail, as she was getting up, the wind  blew the storm door open wider, and it then slammed against her body causing her to fall. She then sued under the theory that the storm door was defective.

In support of their position that the door was not defective, the premises owner submitted deposition testimony and affidavits attesting that they had used the storm door without incident for approximately 15 years before the day of the incident, and for 2 years after, effectively demonstrating  that their storm door was not defective. The injured party's  expert report was not in admissible form and, the court found, in any event was insufficient to rebut the premises owner's position.  Case dismissed.

Hoffman v Mucci

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