Landlord Tenant Slip and Fall

September 21st, 2018 by Rieders Travis in Landlord Tenant

Hackett v. Indian King Residents Ass’n., 2018 Pa. Super. LEXIS 937 (August 29, 2018) Shogan, J.  This is an appeal by Plaintiff-Appellant, Ruthann Hackett, following a jury’s defense verdict in favor of Appellee, Indian King Residents Association (“IKRA”). Following our careful review, we affirm. Appellant sued to recover for injuries from a fall caused by branches on steps in a common area leading to her townhouse.

The trial court did not err in finding that Appellant was a licensee when she entered the common area. It is undisputed that Appellant was not a trespasser at the time she fell. Initially, we reject outright Appellant’s claim that she was an invitee pursuant to the Uniform Condominium Act. Appellant’s Brief at 21–22. Appellant cites no case law in support of her position, but more significantly, we note the inapplicability of the UCA. IKRA is not a condominium association; it is a homeowners’ association under the UPCA, as noted supra. The UCA has no relevance to this case. Further, Appellant was not an invitee because she was not a business visitor at the Indian King Community nor on the property by invitation or for a purpose related to IKRA’s business dealing. The Restatement, § 332. Rather, she was returning to her home after visiting a relative. N.T., 7/31/17, at 35, 48. Appellant likewise was not a public invitee. The Restatement, § 332. There was no evidence offered that Appellant entered the property upon invitation or for a purpose for which land is held open to the public. As noted by the trial court, Comment b to Section 332 of the Restatement “addresses the requirement of an invitation to distinguish an invitee from a licensee.” The fall was in the common area.  Plaintiff was a resident of Indian King Community.  In such a situation, plaintiff is not invited onto the common area.  She was there with implied permission by virtue of the fact that she was a resident.  She had longstanding permission to use the area

Attorney Cliff Rieders

Attorney Cliff RiedersCliff Rieders is a Nationally Board Certified Trial Lawyer practicing personal injury law. A large part of his practice involves multi-district litigation, including cases related to pharmaceuticals, vitamin supplements and medical devices. He is admitted in several state and federal courts, as well as the Supreme Court of the United States. Rieders is the past regional president of the Federal Bar Association and is a life member of the distinguished American Law Institute, which promulgates proposed rules adopted by many state courts. He is a past president of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. As a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, he served on the Board for 15 years.

Not only has Rieders held many highly esteemed, leadership positions, he authored legislation related to the Patient Safety Authority and the Mcare Act, which governs medical and hospital liability actions in Pennsylvania. He authored texts upon which both practitioners and judges rely, including Pennsylvania Malpractice Laws and Forms, and Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania, the latter governing auto and truck collisions in Pennsylvania. In addition, he wrote several books on the practice of law in Pennsylvania regarding wrongful death and survivor actions, insurance bad faith, legal malpractice claims and worker rights, among others. Rieders also serves as a resource to practitioners as a regular speaker for Celesq, an arm of the world’s largest legal publisher, Thomson Reuters West Publishing.

As recognition of his wide range of contribution to his profession and of his dedication to protecting the rights of his clients, he received numerous awards, among them the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, the Milton D. Rosenberg Award, the B’nai B’rith Justice Award, and awards of recognition from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. [ Attorney Bio ]



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