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Hamilton and Zaffiri Granted Summary Judgment in Case

Partner Kathleen Hamilton and associate attorney Brad Zaffiri recently secured a summary judgment for Burton Brothers General Contractors in a City of St. Louis case [Joseph Moore, et al. v. Burton Brothers General Contractors, et al; City of St. Louis, Missouri Circuit Court; Case No. 1422-CC08898]. 

Plaintiff was performing carpentry work for a general contractor in the stairwell on a demolition project when the stairwell collapsed, allegedly causing him personal injuries. Plaintiff attempted to set forth a claim of negligence against our client based on its alleged failure to ensure that the stairwell was structurally sound. However, our client was retained by an independent adjuster to review budgets and bills and had no role in actually constructing, inspecting, or managing the work on the project. As such, the court granted the motion for summary judgment, finding that Burton Brothers owed no legal duty to Plaintiff to ensure his safety or the structural integrity of the stairwell. The court also held that the dangerous condition of the stairwell was open and obvious as a matter of law in light of Plaintiff’s deposition testimony that he thought the staircase was in danger of imminent collapse but proceeded to enter the stairwell anyway.

Both Hamilton and Zaffiri work in the firm’s St. Louis office and focus their practices on complex tort litigation, including premises liability.