Pretzel & Stouffer

Summary Judgment for Construction Contractor

On September 21, 2015, eight days before trial was to begin, Jim LaBarge obtained judgment on behalf of his client, White General Contracting, Inc., in a case involving premises liability and construction negligence. One of the Defendants, the court-appointed Receiver of a building, was ordered to erect a pedestrian canopy around a building in 2010 because pieces of the façade were falling. The Receiver hired a scaffolding company to erect the canopy in August of 2010. On a very windy day in March, 2012, the plaintiff alleged that she was walking near the pedestrian canopy when the wind caused a sheet of plywood that was part of the knee wall at the top of the canopy to blow down and hit her. White General Contracting was an independent contractor to the Receiver who, it was alleged by the plaintiff, had a duty to but failed to maintain the premises; inspect, secure and maintain the canopy; monitor wind conditions; and, warn the plaintiff of the dangerous condition of the canopy. Through the deposition testimony of the Receiver and the owner of White General Contracting, Jim was able to establish for the Court that White General Contracting did not owe the plaintiff those duties and that there would be no testimonial support for the plaintiff’s allegations against White General Contracting at trial. The trial will proceed against the Receiver and scaffolding company.

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