Our Pittsburgh colleague, Stephen Plonski, successfully argued a Summary Judgment motion involving a trip and fall in a social hall of our church client’s facility. The plaintiff, a member of the congregation, alleged a serving cart had been placed over a rug causing it to roll-up and create a hazard resulting in her fall and causing significant bodily injury. The court agreed with Stephen’s position that the plaintiff could not put forth evidence at trial establishing who placed the cart on the rug, when the cart was placed on the rug, and for how long the carpet was rolled up prior to plaintiff’s fall, and, therefore, would not be able to show the church staff was on notice of the allegedly hazardous condition.
In a case where plaintiff alleged our insurance agent client failed to secure coverage under a homeowner’s policy to cover the policyholder’s mechanics tools used in his hobby of restoring antique Ford Mustangs, Steve Plonski, Esq., obtained Summary Judgment. The policy was clearly not intended to cover the car and insurance company contended the tools were not covered due to a business exclusion; the policyholder settled with the carrier and pursued our client, the producing agent.
In addition to a statute of limitations defense (policy, which clearly indicated the car was not covered, had been delivered to the legally blind insured in 2003) set forth by Steve, he contended the fact that the insurer denied coverage based upon the business exclusion was not an argument to direct to the producing agent, but the insurer, exclusively. The court concurred, holding the insurer may have interpreted the coverage disingenuously, the Agent would have no way of anticipating such a position would be taken and the insured should have made himself aware of the coverage when the policy was delivered. In the event of an appeal, Steve has the opportunity to prevail at that level, as well.