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Bond v. Wilson

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle

March 16, 2015

THOMAS A. BOND Plaintiff,
v.
CECILIA WILSON Defendant.

Date Submitted: March 11, 2015

On Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment.

On Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment.

Michael D. Bednash, Esq., Attorney for Plaintiff.

Joel H. Fredricks, Esq., Casarino Christman Shalk Ransom & Doss, P.A., Attorney for Defendant.

OPINION

Calvin L. Scott Judge.

Introduction

Defendant Cecilia Wilson ("Defendant") moves for summary judgment on a negligence claim arising from Plaintiff Thomas Bond's ("Plaintiff") fall at Defendant's rental property at 12 E. 44 Street in Wilmington, Delaware ("the Property") on September 21, 2010. Plaintiff also moves for summary judgment on this negligence claim. The Court has reviewed the parties' submissions. For the following reasons, Defendant's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED and Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is DENIED.

Background

The Property is a row home with four or five cement steps that lead up to the front door.[1] There are wrought iron rails on both sides of the steps.[2] The railings were in place when Defendant purchased the Property in 2007.[3] The tenants, Cedric and Gretchen Fountain, had been occupying the Property since spring of 2008 and were the tenants on September 21, 2010.[4]

On September 21, 2010, Plaintiff was at the Property to perform his duties as a letter carrier for the United States Postal Service.[5] Plaintiff has made deliveries at that address on and off for twelve years, and made mail deliveries to that address every day for the three months prior to September 21, 2010.[6]

Plaintiff testified that he did not notice anything unusual about the railing in the three months before the accident and that nothing alerted Plaintiff to the fact that there were any defects in the railing on September 21, 2010.[7] Defendant also testified that there were no noticeable defects in the railing.[8] Defendant never received any complaints regarding the railing nor was she given notice of any potential defects.[9]

On September 21, 2010, Plaintiff rang the doorbell at the Property to deliver a certified letter.[10] As a woman and two children came out, Plaintiff "stepped aside to let them come out" and fell backwards.[11] Plaintiff fell off of the steps, striking his head on a car in the driveway and landing on his back on the driveway. Plaintiff testified that he did not know ...


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