Personal Injury - Premises Liability

DAILY JOURNAL VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS

August 2010

PERSONAL INJURY

Premises Liability

Slip and Fall

BENCH DECISION: Defense (plus costs).

CASE/NUMBER: Greg Turner v. Century Insulation / C 07-01544.

COURT/DATE: Contra Costa Superior / July 15, 2010.

JUDGE: Hon. Barry Baskin.

ATTORNEYS: Plaintiff - Thomas R. Woelfel (Law Offices of Thomas R. Woelfel, Walnut Creek).

Defendant - Mark B. Wilson (Klein & Wilson, Newport Beach).

FACTS: Plaintiff Greg Turner slipped and fell on insulation material that he alleged defendant Coast Insulation left behind at a construction site.

Initially, Turner timely filed a complaint and named Builder Services Group (BSG) as a defendant, alleging it was the insulation contractor, which left the insulation behind. BSG and Coast stipulated to substitute Coast as a defendant. Consequently, Turner dismissed BSG.

Before trial, Turner amended the complaint. However, he relied upon the stipulation he left BSG as a defendant in the amended complaint, instead of naming Coast. BSG filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings on the ground Turner's amended complaint was barred by the statute of limitations, and the court granted the motion. When Turner served Coast with the amended complaint, Coast filed a demurrer based on the statute of limitations.

PLAINTIFF'S CONTENTIONS: Turner claimed that BSG and Coast were liable for leaving insulation behind at a construction site.

DEFENDANT'S CONTENTIONS: BSG and Coast denied liability on substantive and procedural grounds. They denied leaving insulation behind and contended that plaintiff failed to file his amended complaint timely.

INJURIES: Plaintiff suffered injuries to his knee.

RESULT: The court granted defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings and demurrer and awarded them costs in the approximate amount of $25,000.

Plaintiff settled separately with a co-defendant.

OTHER INFORMATION: Turner appealed and the parties entered into a settlement agreement whereby BSG and Coast waived their costs in exchange for a dismissal of the appeal.

FILING DATE: July 22, 2005.