Miami Partner, Joseph Goldberg, and Miami Associate, Tiffany Batten, secured final summary judgment in favor of their client, a strip mall building, in a case which arose from an automobile accident which crashed into the client’s building with tragic involvement of a pedestrian.
The strip mall building was located on a busy, motor-vehicle accident prone street corner. The deceased was standing on the street corner in front of the building chatting with friends when a motor vehicle accident resulted in a vehicle deviating from the road, jumping the curb, striking the bystander, and pinning him against our client’s building, ultimately killing him. Plaintiff retained a mechanical engineering expert and brought a wrongful death action against our client, alleging that our client knew how dangerous the street was due to the 43 motor vehicle accidents that occurred in front of the building, yet did nothing to protect pedestrians from potential errant vehicles such as install bollard posts, walls, or other impregnable barriers.
CSK argued that our client did not owe a duty to the deceased to protect him from errant vehicles leaving the public roadway. CSK also argued that to the extent there was some duty owed, there was no breach or proximate cause since the subject incident was caused by the negligent acts of a third party—the vehicle drivers—and was not created by the client through something it did or permitted to occur wrongfully and that any alleged wrong that could reasonably be attributed to the client was superseded by the acts of the drivers driving off the road. The trial court agreed, and granted final summary judgment in the client’s favor on duty, breach, and causation.
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