Achievements & Results

Fred Valz and Jena Emory Obtain Summary Judgment for Landlord Client in Premises Liability Case

Fred M. Valz, III and Jena G. Emory recently won a motion for summary judgment for an out-of-possession landlord in a slip and fall case.  In that case, the claimant fell while she was walking down the back steps of a hair salon, and no one witnessed the fall.  The claimant then died, for unrelated reasons, before she was deposed.  The claimant’s brother testified that the claimant had walked down the back steps of the hair salon without incident multiple times prior to her fall.  Valz and Emory filed a motion for summary judgment under the prior traversal rule arguing that the claimant had equal knowledge of any hazard the steps posed because she successfully traversed the area multiple times before her fall.  The plaintiff responded that any defect in the steps was not discernable to the claimant.  The trial court agreed with Valz and Emory and granted their motion for summary judgment.