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Firm obtains dismissal of trip and fall claim involving a public sidewalk


Ken O’Brien and Erin Farnham recently obtained a summary judgment in favor of a property owner in a trip  and fall case.  The Plaintiff alleged that he fell on a public sidewalk that adjoined our client’s property.  The incident occurred during a local art fair, and the Plaintiff also sued a neighborhood association that he alleged was responsible for running the art fair.  Mr. O’Brien and Ms. Farnham argued that an adjoining property owner did not owe a legal duty to the public to maintain or repair a public sidewalk, and that a local ordinance only required a property owner to repair a public sidewalk that adjoined his property if he received a notice from the city that the sidewalk needed to be repaired.  The city had not issued such a repair notice before the accident, so the ordinance did not impose a duty on the property owner to repair the public sidewalk.  The trial court agreed and granted summary judgment to the property owner.