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Delaware Supreme Court holds that plaintiff failed to raise an issue of fact regarding defendants’ negligence after presenting evidence of their efforts to remediate snow and ice on the property.

October 1, 2018
Ridgeway v. Acme Markets, Inc., et al., 2018 Del. LEXIS 410 (Del. Sept. 5, 2018)

The plaintiff fell on ice in an Acme parking lot three days after a winter storm and sustained injuries. She sued the store owner, the property manager, and the snow and ice contractor for negligence. The Superior Court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment because the plaintiff failed to retain a liability expert to explain how the defendants breached an industry standard of care related to ice remediation. On appeal, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of claims but did not decide the requirement of expert testimony. The defendants demonstrated that they plowed and salted in the three days prior to the incident and again on the day the plaintiff fell. The plaintiff simply relied on the fact that snow and ice were present to oppose their summary judgment motions. However, the court held that this was insufficient. The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the Superior Court’s grant of summary judgment, holding: “It is not enough to point to the slip and fall and ice and snow in the vicinity. The plaintiff must point to some breach of the duty of care.” The court found she did nothing to establish that a genuine issue of fact existed related to a breach of their duty.



Case Law Alerts, 4th Quarter, October 2018

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