My original post:
Part 1: Applying the background and facts in Hastings’ case and the three relevant cases (see above), prepare a summary to address the following items
Questions to be answered in the case
Based on the facts of the case and the insights derived from the three cases related to the Hastings case, the questions that will be required to be answered include: first, if Gilford Pines Condominium Association had a duty of care to protect the public from the imminent threats of slips and falls and possible injuries from the incidence. The second question, which builds on the first, is if the defendant breached the duty of care through negligence, leading to the plaintiff’s slip and fall and the injury to the arm (Deering Woods Condo. Ass’n v. Spoon, 833 A.2d 17 (Md. 2003). The third question would be if the defendant failed to protect the public from potential slip and fall and if the defendant knew about the risks and failed to act as a reasonable person would do. These questions will guide the judgment based on the central issues of the case.
The central issues in the case
Whether the defendant, Pines Condominium Association, had a duty to use reasonable care to maintain, manage and control the site and keep it safe from unreasonable harm to the public, especially the black ice the plaintiff slipped, fell, and injured her arm on.
Cause of Action
Based on the outcomes of the case on the identified central issue above, the cause of action would either be the plaintiff reimbursing the defendants for the costs of the case if they are not found guilty, or the defendant compensating the plaintiff if they are found to have breached a duty of care to maintain, manage and control the site and keep it safe from unreasonable harm to the public. Based on the facts of the case and the three cases, the latter is less likely to happen because of a lack of enough evidence to show the defendants breached their duty of care for public safety—Maans v. Giant of Maryland, L.L.C.
Classmates i need to reply to:
1. Sue Hoffman
You describe the possible questions well. You indicate the central issue is whether the defendant had a duty to use reasonable care. Did you consider the next layer of that duty – whether Gilford Pines breached that duty?
2. Michelle Ravert
Joseph v. Buzzoto Mgmt. Co., 918 A.2d 1230 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2007) was claim of negligence. To maintain an action in negligence, the plaintiff/appellant must assert the following elements in the the complaint: “(1) that the defendant was under a duty to protect the plaintiff from injury, (2) that the defendant breached that duty, (3) that the plaintiff suffered actual injury or loss, and (4) that the loss or injury proximately resulted from the defendant’s breach of duty. Joseph v. Buzzoto Mgmt. Co., 918 A.2d 1230 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2007)
Additionally, the duty to protect has a “prerequisite of knowledge” to prove a breach. The plaintiff/appellant must prove that the defendant/appellees had actual or constructive knowledge of the condition AND that they received it in ample time to remove it or warn of it prior to the incident at court. You mention the duty of care. There appear to be multiple expectations based on the situation of the owner. Landowners have a duty to exercise due care and businesses have a duty to exercise ordinary care of their property to ensure reasonably safe conditions exist, so the standard of care appears to be higher for businesses.
Lastly, in lieu of the prerequisite knowledge, it appears that one might attempt to sway a jury that the condition was of such a character OR of such a duration that it should have been discovered through the owners duty to exercise care for the property. This was a missed opportunity in the Deering Woods case. The drainpipe was installed twenty years prior and any water run-off form the parking lot would have drained to run over top of the walkway for that duration. Deering Woods Condo. Ass’n v. Spoon, 833 A.2d 17 (Md. 2003)
If it is found in the Hastings case that the condominium company did not have actual or constructive knowledge of the case, it may be prudent to ask questions about the exact location of the incident and surrounding areas to determine if there was a similar condition as in the Deering Woods case to build a case that condo company breached its duty of care by an egregious oversight of condition with a lengthy duration, negating the knowledge prerequisite to show breach of duty to protect.
thanks for sharing,
3. Bethany Tracy
Do you think that Ms. Hastings need to prove negligence or just that they needed to maintain, manage and control the site and keep it safe? I think negligence could be a big factor in this situation especially if the condominium knew about the black ice prior to her fall.