Judge Dismisses Suit Against Restaurant’s Landlord in 2017 Shooting
Case Study

Judge Dismisses Suit Against Restaurant’s Landlord in 2017 Shooting

February 20, 2020

In a decision that could strengthen caselaw holding that a landlord who has transferred a commercial property to a tenant by lease cannot be held liable if anyone is injured there, a judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the owner of a Meriden, Connecticut, restaurant where a man was shot and seriously injured.

The dismissal came on a successful motion for summary judgment by the landlord’s attorney, Goldberg Segalla associate Christopher A. Clark, a member of the firm’s General Liability group. Chris argued that the owner of the property owed no duty of care to the plaintiff, whose agreement with the property’s lessor stipulated that the restaurant was responsible for maintaining and inspecting the premises. He also argued that the shooting was not foreseeable and that the injured man’s claim was barred by the superseding criminal act of the shooter.

The Connecticut Superior Court judge’s January 30, 2020, ruling saved Chris’s client at least tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills alone as well as the expense and worry of a trial, which was scheduled for March. In a trial, the graphic nature of the plaintiff’s injuries likely would have affected the jury’s verdict range.

In response to the summary judgment, the plaintiff offered up many exhibits and an expert, but Chris successfully fended off the challenge by submitting briefs arguing that the exhibits were not admissible and seeking to have the expert precluded.


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