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A Chair is Still a Chair: Evidence of a Discoverable Defect is Necessary for an Invitee to Prove Negligence

Premises Liability / September 27, 2019

In Billington v Laurel Wood Apt. North, et al., unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, issued September 10, 2019 (Docket No. 344661), the appellate court upheld the trial court’s decision granting summary disposition to Defendants and denying same to Plaintiff, who was injured as a result of a fall from a chair at an event held at Defendants’ apartment complex clubhouse. The Court held that Plaintiff failed to establish a prima facie case of negligence, either directly or circumstantially. Ultimately, the Court held that although Plaintiff may be able to establish that any defect had existed for a “sufficient length of time,” Plaintiff failed to present any evidence that the defect was discoverable by anyone who assisted with set up for the event or immediately before Plaintiff sat in the chair.

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