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Summary judgment granted in favor of defendant because plaintiff failed to produce any expert opinion evidence of causation of a fire in his home.

January 19, 2018
Seck v. Verizon, 2017 Del. Super. LEXIS 483 (Del. Super. Ct. Sep. 27, 2017)

The plaintiff had Verizon equipment in his home. A fire broke out. He and his wife allegedly saw the fire coming directly from Verizon’s equipment. The fire marshal determined there was a malfunction with the Verizon box, which caused fire damage to the home. The plaintiff attached the fire marshal’s report to his complaint. Verizon moved for summary judgment on the basis that the plaintiff failed to produce any expert opinion evidence of causation. The court agreed, finding the fire marshal’s report to be insufficient. As the court noted: “The report indicates that there was a malfunction or failure in the Verizon equipment, but does not indicate that such malfunction or failure existed as a result of negligence. The fire marshal’s report does not theorize at all as to probable causes of the equipment malfunction.” The res ipsa doctrine did not apply absent an expert report or other material “that could be judicially noticed.” The court noted that the plaintiff had many opportunities to disclose experts and failed to do so.

 

Case Law Alerts, 1st Quarter, January 2018

Case Law Alerts is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. Copyright © 2018 Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, all rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm.

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