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Summary Judgment Granted In a Premises Liability Case Against a Preschool


Los Angeles Superior Court granted OLG’s motion for summary judgment in an alleged premises liability case on the grounds that the abutting property owner exercised no control over adjacent public property and that the hirer of an independent contractor is not liable for injuries sustained by the contractor’s employees.

Plaintiff, a security guard employed by an outside security company, alleged that he was injured when he tripped and fell on a curb that was obscured by overgrown tree branches. Although the tree was growing on City-owned property between the sidewalk and curb, Plaintiff alleged that the preschool, as the abutting property owner, was responsible for maintaining the tree because it used the property as a student pick up and drop off location. Sherri E Matta prepared a summary judgment motion arguing that (1) OLG’s client did not assume liability for maintaining public property merely by using the green curb zone in a manner consistent with its designation as a loading and unloading zone, (2) Plaintiff was limited to the worker’s compensation payments that he received for his injuries through his employer’s insurance, and (3) OLG’s client was not liable to the Plaintiff because it did not actively contribute to his injuries. The court’s tentative ruling was to grant summary judgment in favor of OLG’s client on all points raised. Plaintiff did not argue against the tentative ruling, and the Court granted the motion for summary judgment in favor of OLG’s client against Plaintiff.

Sherri E. Matta wrote the motion and reply to Plaintiff’s opposition.