Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court entering summary judgment in favor of Defendants, the City of Providence and various City officials, on Plaintiff’s complaint alleging, among other things, that Ira Lukens suffered serious injuries as a result of the City’s negligence in maintaining Roger Williams Park. On appeal, Plaintiff asserted that there remained genuine issues of material fact whether the City knew of the dangerous condition of a pothole on a park street and whether it “willfully and/or maliciously failed to warn against it,” which would strip the City of the protection against liability afforded under Rhode Islan d’s Recreational Use Statute (RUS). The Supreme Court held (1) immunity under the RUS clearly applied to the City; and (2) the exception provided in R.I. Gen. Stat. 32-6-5(a)(1) did not apply because there was no evidence that the City had actual knowledge of the pothole or had received complaints regarding the condition of the roadway. View "Cancel v. City of Providence" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court granting summary judgment for Defendant, Chase Bank USA, N.A., on Plaintiff’s claims alleging that Chase agreed to issue him two new loans to pay promissory notes secured by mortgages on his two properties, but that Pasquale Scavitti III, whom Chase engaged as its closing agent, converted the loan proceeds for his own use and failed to disburse them. The hearing justice determined that summary judgment was appropriate because, even if Scavitti were Chase’s agent, there was no genuine issue of material fact as to whether Scavitti’s conduct was within the scope of the purported agency relationship with Chase. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the hearing justice’s grant of summary judgment in Chase’s favor was proper. View "Pineda v. Chase Bank USA, N.A." on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants on Plaintiff’s complaint alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, loss of consortium, and invasion of privacy. Plaintiff’s claims stemmed from an incident in which one of the defendants allegedly berated Plaintiff, a Providence Fire Department employee, for allowing one of his dispatchers to be sprawled in his chair while on duty. Plaintiff was later transferred and demoted. Plaintiff filed two grievances against the City, alleging breach of the applicable collective bargaining agreement. The grievances were settled at arbitration for a monetary payment. After Plaintiff retired, he filed this complaint against the City and some of its officers. The hearing justice granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants on all counts of Plaintiff’s complaint. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Plaintiff failed to allege any conduct by the City that was extreme or outrageous. View "Gross v. Pare" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part the judgment of the superior court granting summary judgment for Defendant, Price Rite, on count one of Plaintiff’s complaint and also granting Defendant’s motion to dismiss the remaining four counts. Plaintiff slipped and fell on liquid in an aisle of a store owned by Defendant. Plaintiff’s amended complaint alleged negligence, breach of contract, mode of operation, failure to warn, and breach of the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for use, and fitness for a particular purpose. The court granted summary judgment on the negligence count and dismissed the remaining counts. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court granting summary judgment on Plaintiff’s negligence claim and affirmed the dismissal of the remaining counts, holding (1) Plaintiff satisfied her burden of producing competent evidence that proved the existence of a disputed issue of material fact with respect to Defendant’s safety procedures or lack thereof, (2) the trial judge impermissibly weighed the evidence in his decision granting summary judgment, and (3) there is no requirement at the summary judgment stage for a plaintiff to produce direct evidence of how long a spill has existed on a floor. View "Dent v. PRRC, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court granting summary judgment for Defendants on Plaintiff’s negligence claim. Plaintiff, a former college hockey player, filed this negligence suit alleging that he inhaled noxious fumes while playing in a game at an arena owned by Defendant DRF Arena, LLC and operated by Defendant Rhode Island Sports Center, Inc. The superior court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants. The Supreme Court vacated the superior court’s judgment and remanded the case for trial, holding that Defendants’ alleged negligence was a question that should have been left for the jury, and therefore, the superior court erred by disposing of the case by summary judgment. View "DeLong v. Rhode Island Sports Center, Inc." on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court and remanded this case to the superior court with directions to hear and decide Plaintiff’s motion to amend his complaint upon the merits, holding that the trial justice erred in failing to address Plaintiff’s motion to file a second amended complaint. Plaintiff, an inmate, filed an amended civil complaint alleging negligence on the part of State defendants. Before trial, the trial justice sua sponte raised the issue of the civil death statute in light of Plaintiff’s sentences of life imprisonment. Defendants then filed a motion to dismiss the case under R.I. Gen. Laws 13-6-1, arguing that Plaintiff was deemed civilly dead, and therefore, his civil rights were effectively terminated. Plaintiff then filed a motion for leave to file a second amended complaint seeking to add a claim for violations of Plaintiff’s constitutional rights under color of law. The trial justice granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss based on the civil death statute and did not address Plaintiff’s motion for leave to file a second amended complaint. The Supreme Court held that the trial justice accurately dismissed the case but should have addressed Plaintiff’s second amended complaint before granting Defendants’ motion to dismiss. View "Gallop v. Adult Correctional Institutions" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendant, the City of Providence, on Plaintiff’s amended complaint alleging that she fell and sustained injuries due to the City’s negligence in maintaining its sidewalk, holding that Plaintiff failed to provide notice of the location of her injury in a “reasonably sufficient manner.” In dismissing the complaint, the superior court concluded that Plaintiff’s notice of claim failed to describe with sufficient specificity of location where the incident giving rise to the claim occurred was defective as a matter of law. The Supreme Court agreed, holding that because Plaintiff’s notice was geographically inaccurate, it was inadequate, and Plaintiff’s attempt to cure the defective notice was invalid because it was filed outside the sixty-day limitations period for filing a notice of claim under R.I. Gen. Laws 45-15-9. View "Ahearn v. City of Providence" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court determining that Plaintiff need not comply with R.I. Gen. Laws 45-21-23 and 45-21-24 in order to continue receiving his accidental disability pension because those sections were not applicable to his situation. Plaintiff suffered a debilitating injury while performing his duties as a police officer and was granted an accidental disability pension. The Supreme Court held (1) Plaintiff was subject to sections 45-21-23 and 45-21-24; and (2) Plaintiff may be required to undergo an independent medical examination on occasion at the direction of the Retirement Board and to submit such financial information as may be requested in accordance with section 45-21-24. View "Grasso v. Raimondo" on Justia Law

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At issue was whether victims of illegal entries to owed a duty to unknown plaintiffs. Plaintiffs sued Defendant, Nickerson Community Center, alleging that Defendant was negligent in failing to secure the keys to a van that was stolen by a juvenile from Defendant’s premises. The van, driven by the juvenile, later collided with another car, causing one fatality. The hearing justice found that defendant did not owe a duty to Plaintiffs and granted summary judgment for Defendant. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that there was no duty of care owed by Defendant in this case, and therefore, Plaintiffs’ negligence claims against Defendant must fail as a matter of law. View "Flynn v. Nickerson Community Center" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the superior court denying Plaintiff’s motion for a new trial following a jury verdict in favor of Defendants in this negligence case arising out of an automobile accident. In his motion for a new trial, Plaintiff argued that the jury failed to apply the facts to the law in the case at hand. The trial justice denied the motion, determining that reasonable minds could differ on the outcome of the case. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial justice properly conducted the analysis for a motion for a new trial and did not overlook or misconceive material evidence. View "Zarembka v. Whelan" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury