Recently, partner Rob Bennett was successful in obtaining summary judgment in a Nevada County case. Rob represented a local homeowner in Truckee, California, who hired two men to remove snow off his second story roof in February, 2017. The men represented themselves out to be general contractors and had performed several jobs for Rob’s client previously. In the bid to secure the work, Rob’s client showed the contractors the location on his roof to remove the snow. In completing the work, the defendant had no input into how the job was completed. While removing the snow, a large piece shed off the roof, striking one of the plaintiffs and pushing him off to the ground two stories below. The second plaintiff was also struck and fell against the railing of the second floor balcony. As a result of the fall, the plaintiffs sustained serious injuries including one who suffered a compression fracture to his lumbar spine.
The contractors sued Rob’s client, alleging he failed to take proper precautions to protect the workers. Plaintiffs further alleged the roof was a dangerous condition. In discovery Rob secured significant factual admissions including agreement that both men were independent contractors as well as awareness by both of the dangers inherent in the work being performed. Rob then filed for summary judgment on behalf of his client asserting the plaintiff’s independent contractor status shielded his client from liability. Further, he argued there were no facts to confirm defendant contributed to cause the accident or failed to act, negating duty. Following briefing by the parties and oral argument, the court agreed, granting summary judgment and dismissing the lawsuit.
Prior to the litigation, the plaintiffs demanded $1,000,000 to resolve the case. By securing summary judgment Rob was able to not only vindicate his client’s conduct but he was also able to avoid the expensive work of defense at trial.
Rob has been with the firm for over 11 years and can be reached via phone at (916) 666 – 7776 or email at [email protected].