Summary Judgment Awarded in Premises Liability/Vicious Dog Lawsuit

David Lee Gladden, Jr. recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of an insured in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Mississippi.  (order-granting-summary-judgment-filed).  Plaintiff filed her lawsuit seeking $500,000 in damages.  Plaintiff alleged that the insured “maintained an unreasonably dangerous premises” and that the insured “was negligent in positioning and placing and letting the dog be in a position where he could charge Plaintiff, barking at her and startling her” which resulted in Plaintiff tripping over a crack in the driveway and falling.  As a result of the Plaintiff’s fall, she was required to undergo surgery.  Gladden argued that although Plaintiff was an invitee, the crack Plaintiff tripped over was not hidden, was in plain view of the Plaintiff, and the Plaintiff was fully aware of it.  Gladden further argued that irregularities in sidewalks and driveways typically exist and do not constitute an unreasonably dangerous condition.  As such, the insured breached no duty to the Plaintiff.  Gladden also argued that the dog, a ten pound barking Peekapoo on a leash, did not have dangerous propensities and had never attacked or harmed anyone.  After briefing and oral argument, the Court agreed and granted summary judgment in favor of the insured.  The case was appealed to the Court of Appeals which affirmed the Circuit Court’s award of summary judgment. (order-affirming-cir-ct-summary-judgment). A Motion for Reconsideration was filed with the Mississippi Supreme Court which was denied. (decision-letter-8-23-16).