LAKISHA P. ROYAL, Plaintiff,
GALMAN STONEBRIDGE, LLC d/b/a SOPHIA'S PLACE EAST, GALMAN STONEBRIDGE 2015, L.P, THE GALMAN GROUP, GALMAN GROUP, LTD., and GALMAN GROUP MANAGEMENT-PHILADELPHIA, LLC, Defendants
Submitted: June 5, 2018
Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings: DENIED.
Benjamin A. Schwartz, Esquire, Schwartz & Schwartz, 1140
South State Street, Dover, Delaware 19901; and Richard K.
Washington, Jr., Esquire (pro hac vice) (argued), Washington
& Washington, P.C., 1650 Market Street, Suite 3600,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Attorneys for Plaintiff.
J. Bellew, Esquire (argued), Cozen O'Connor, 1201 North
Market Street, 10th Floor, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for
Jurden, President Judge
the Court in this premises liability case is Defendants
Galman Stonebridge, LLC d/b/a Sophia's Place East, Galman
Stonebridge 2015, L.P., The Galman Group, Galman Group, Ltd.,
and Galman Group Management-Philadelphia, LLC's Motion
for Judgment on the Pleadings. For the reasons that follow, the
Defendants' Motion is DENIED.
Defendants own Sophia's Place East Apartment Complex in
New Castle, Delaware. On November 6, 2015, Plaintiff Lakisha
Royal, a United States Postal Service Worker, was delivering
mail on the Defendants' property when she sustained
injuries to her left ankle and left knee due to an uneven,
broken, and cracked sidewalk. On September 29, 2016, Royal
slipped and fell in a bathroom at her home and suffered a
non-displaced fracture of the left tibia shaft. Royal alleges
that she fell because she was trying to remain non-weight
bearing on her previously injured left leg.
B. Procedural History
to Royal, the Defendants' negligence was the proximate
cause of the injuries she sustained on November 6, 2015 and
September 29, 2016. Royal is seeking general and special
damages for her injuries, medical expenses, and emotional
harm. On July 12, 2017, Royal commenced this
premises liability action against Defendants Galman
Stonebridge, LLC d/b/a Sophia's Place East, and Galman
Stonebridge 2015, L.P. On October 24, 2017, Royal filed a
substantially similar complaint against Defendants The Galman
Group, Galman Group Ltd., and Galman Group
Management-Philadelphia, LLC. The two matters were consolidated
on February 20, 2018. On March 19, 2018, the Defendants
filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to
Superior Court Civil Rule 12(c).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
to Superior Court Civil Rule 12(c), a party may move for a
judgment on the pleadings, "[a]fter the pleadings are
closed but within such time as not to delay the trial."
The Court must accept all well-pled allegations in the
complaint as true and construe all reasonable inferences in
favor of the non-moving party. A motion for judgment on the
pleadings will be granted only where there is no genuine
issue of material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law."Unresolved issues of fact as to the
defendant's negligence, proximate cause, and the
parties' respective degrees of negligence usually present
questions of fact for the jury."
Defendants argue they are entitled to judgment for the
following reasons: (1) Defendants did not owe a duty to Royal
at her personal residence; (2) Royal's September 29, 2016
injury was not foreseeable and thus a superseding cause of
the Defendants' alleged negligence; and (3)
Defendants' alleged November 6, 2015 negligence did not
proximately cause Royal's September 29, 2016
injuries. The Court finds the Defendants'
first two arguments are misplaced but will address the third
argument because the key issue here is whether a genuine