California Attorneys Win Summary Judgment on Premises Liability Case in LA County
Litchfield Cavo LLP California partner Marc V. Allaria and attorney Jeffrey A. Rector recently won Summary Judgment on an premises liability case in Los Angeles County, California. In the case of Nallely Pacheco v. Cara Creation, Inc., et al., Marc and Jeff represented a commercial landlord client whose tenant operated a laundromat on the premises. The plaintiff attorneys alleged a plaintiff slipped and fell as the result of stepping into accumulated water on the laundromat floor due to the building’s leaking roof.
Through discovery, Marc and Jeff obtained admissions from the laundromat owners that the water appeared for the first time on the date of this incident, and that the owners did not notify our clients of the leak prior to the plaintiff’s fall.
Litchfield Cavo attorneys filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that “Public policy precludes landlord liability for a dangerous condition on the premises which came into existence after possession has passed to a tenant.” Garcia v. Holt (2015) 242 Cal.App.4th 600, 604 (internal citations omitted).
While California courts are notoriously reluctant to grant summary judgment motions, Marc and Jeff prevailed over the plaintiff’s opposition by carefully identifying the unique facts and circumstances of this case and pointing to a specific exception to the following general rules: (1) CACI No. 1011 that a property owner can be held liable for a dangerous condition on the property of which the owner has only constructive notice; and, (2) CACI No. 1006. Landlord’s Duty that a landlord has a non-delegable duty to maintain the property in a safe condition.