Fullerton Beck LLP special litigation counsel Joseph Sauer successfully obtained a dismissal of a premises liability case involving several parties, including his client, a solar panel installation company.

The plaintiff in the case, a woman in her 50s, claimed she tripped and fell on debris in the driveway of her rental home while out for an evening walk with her dogs.  She alleged that the solar panel company left the debris behind after installing panels on the home nearly a month earlier.

To refute the plaintiff’s claims, the defense presented documentation showing that the homeowner – the plaintiff’s daughter – signed off on the completed work and that the job site was cleaned to everyone’s satisfaction nearly four weeks before the accident.

Also, during depositions, the plaintiff was unable to identify what she tripped on, at one point thinking it was a toy and switched the description to a pile of rocks after her grandson showed her a photo of rocks. This, among other things, gave Joe the fuel to file a successful motion to dismiss since, according to New York law, a plaintiff must be able to identify what caused a trip and fall to have a triable case