Leddy and Pugliese Obtain Summary Judgment in Bodily Injury Claim

Francis J. Leddy, III and Michael D. Pugliese, Jr., attorneys in the firm’s Woodbridge, NJ (Metropolitan New York) office, recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of their client in a bodily injury case arising from an accident that occurred at the client’s East Rutherford, New Jersey warehouse.

Plaintiff, a customer at the warehouse, was struck by a van door and fell from a loading dock while traversing it in an attempt to enter the warehouse.   Plaintiff alleged severe traumatic brain injury, as well as injuries to her spine.

In accepting the Firm’s arguments, the Court rejected Plaintiff’s application of a “mode-of-operation” theory of liability, which would have entitled her to an inference of negligence on the theory that a self-service business model presents an inherent risk to customers.  The Court found that Plaintiff had failed to demonstrate the required nexus between the self-service aspect and the accident itself.

The Court further held that the client could not be held liable under traditional negligence principles, as it owed no duty of care to the Plaintiff.  The Court agreed with the Firm’s argument that the danger to Plaintiff was unforeseeable given Plaintiff’s inexplicable use of a loading dock reserved for vehicles rather than the alternate means of access to the warehouse for customers.

If you have any questions about this matter, please contact Frank Leddy, Esq. at fleddy@c-wlaw.com or by phone at (848) 229-3300.