In Kentucky, the Court of Appeals ruled recently in a Kentucky personal injury case that a Plaintiff did not have a case for which he was injured. The facts of the case are very interesting. Jerry and Marilyn Sadler sued J.A.M. Co. Restaurants for personal injuries that they received on May 18, 2006. On that evening, they went to an Arby’s restaurant for dinner. Approximately 100 feet away there was a Movie Gallery movie rental store. The two businesses were owned by different owners. When the Sadlers got the restaurant the weather was ok, but then it got dark outside and windy and debris started to fly around. The roof of the Movie Gallery broke loose and flew toward the Arby’s restaurant. The Sadlers were seated by the window in a booth. When the Sadlers saw the roof coming at them, they got away from the window. The roof hit the window and debris flew everywhere and the Sadlers were knocked to the floor. As a result of the personal injury accident, Marilyn suffered numerous cuts to her body. Jerry suffered a fractured right arm and cuts.
On May 15, 2007, the Sadlers filed their Kentucky personal injury lawsuit. On October 13, 2007, the defendants filed a motion for summary judgment asking that the case be thrown out in that they stated there was no cause of action or theory of recovery that would allow the Sadlers to maintain their lawsuit. As discovery was still going on, the Court denied the motion on October 23, 2007 as premature. But, then on April 8, 2008, 6 months later, the defense filed a renewed motion for summary judgment after deposing the Sadlers arguing that there was no theory of negligence upon which the Sadlers could prevail at trial since the defendant did not own the Movie Gallery building and the Sadlers could not produce any evidence of negligence on its part. The Sadlers responded that the defendant could still be negligent because the construction of their store could have been faulty or not done in a safe manner. But they did not produce any evidence of this exepct for their affidavits which were of their own belief.
On May 21, 2008, the trial court entered an order granting the defendant’s motion for summary judgment and in essence throwing out the plaintiffs’ personal injury case. Summary judgment in a Kentucky personal injury case is appropriate only when “it appears that it would be impossible for the respondent to produce evidence at the trial warranting a judgment in his favor.” Id. In this case, the court found that the defendant did produce an affidavit that clearly stated it did nothing wrong and had no ownership of the other building. The plaintiffs responded with only their affidavit and nothing more from any expert. Thus, the appeals court ruled that the lower court’s ruling of dismissing the case was proper and valid.
If you have been the subject of a personal injury case, please call and speak to a personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew S. Alitowski at 888-ASK-ANDREW (275-2637) or contact us online. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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