Motion for Summary Judgment Granted in Parking Lot Trip and Fall

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Attorney Daniel Stofko of Cipriani & Werner’s Scranton office recently obtained summary judgment in favor of a large retail client in a premises liability case filed in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.  The Plaintiff had alleged that she fell in the client’s parking lot while leaving the store with her shopping cart, suffering various injuries.  At the time of her deposition, the Plaintiff presented confusing testimony regarding the happening of the incident, particularly with regard to the precise location of the alleged defect which she believed had caused her to fall. 

Following her deposition but before trial, the Plaintiff died of unrelated natural causes.  Given her deposition testimony, Attorney Stofko moved for summary judgment on the grounds that her deposition testimony was insufficient evidence for a jury to find negligence on the part of the store.  Specifically, Attorney Stofko uncovered a large body of fact-specific Pennsylvania case law in support of the proposition that it is the Plaintiff’s burden to provide sufficiently detailed testimony positively identifying the specific defect alleged to have caused the trip and fall incident, rather than general allegations regarding alleged defects in a given area of a sidewalk or parking lot.

The Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas agreed that the Plaintiff’s deposition testimony was insufficiently certain; granted summary judgment in favor of our client as a matter of law; and dismissed the Plaintiff’s Complaint, with prejudice.

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