Successful Representation of Client in Premises Liability Case

Client: Local Catholic Parish

We successfully obtained a complete dismissal of a lawsuit brought against our client, a local Catholic parish, in a premises liability case.  In this case, the plaintiff tripped and fell in a landscaping area near the church entrance.  She alleged the parish was negligent for the installation and maintenance of certain landscaping features and demanded damages for her significant injuries.

After discovery, we filed a motion for summary judgment on behalf of our client, arguing that under Ohio’s open and obvious doctrine, the parish owed no duty to the plaintiff as a matter of law.  Instead, as we established through photographs, documents we obtained through discovery, and deposition testimony from the plaintiff herself, the area where she fell would have been observable to a reasonable person if she had simply looked down.  After summary judgment briefing and oral argument, the trial court agreed. The judge granted our motion from the bench and dismissed the case with prejudice.

The favorable result for our client reinforces venerable premises liability law in Ohio and provides another precedent for property owners in the future.