Mattress retailer sleeps soundly after winning summary judgment.
Despite dueling expert affidavits, Marshall Dennehey attorneys won summary judgment in a premises matter in the Connecticut Superior Court Middlesex Judicial District. The plaintiff claimed negligence against our client, a mattress retailer, for a hazardous and defective condition in the store. The defect alleged was a tile-carpet transition claimed to be approximately one-half of an inch in differential, as well as a “slope” in the continuing carpet that created a friction co-efficient that caused the plaintiff to fall. We submitted an affidavit from the store owner (whom the plaintiff waived deposing), an affidavit from an engineering expert, photographs from the site inspection, and a detailed memorandum of law outlining Connecticut law on constructive and actual notice. Our engineering expert had researched the history of the premises at the Town Clerk for the time prior to our client’s occupation (eight months leading up to the incident) and observed there were no claims, complaints or code infractions relative to the alleged condition. In other words, our client inherited the premises as is and, although responsible for the floor per the terms of the lease, had no reason or cause to repair anything or to take any corrective action. Our client’s affidavit attested that both he and his customers traversed over the “defect” countless times without feeling, observing, noticing or detecting anything foreseeably dangerous. Moreover, we asserted that because the plaintiff’s expert failed to bring up any mention of a government regulation, code, industry standard or custom that was deviated from with respect to the carpet-tile transition and premises, the expert’s affidavit was tantamount to no affidavit at all. The court granted our summary judgment motion and dismissed the case.