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Positive Result in Premises Liability Case

August 9, 2016

A plaintiff was injured during the course and scope of his employment at a scrap metal facility when the circuit breaker box exploded as he tried to turn on a compressor. He suffered severe burns and disfigurement to his hand. Although he received full workers compensation benefits, the plaintiff filed a civil case against Murchison & Cumming's client, the President of the company who is also the property owner, and his son, the General Manager, for Negligence, Premises Liability and violations of Civil Code 52.1 alleging M&C's client interfered with plaintiff's rights by threat, intimidation and/or coercion.

The Hon. Donald Alvarez in San Bernardino granted the Motion for Summary Judgment on behalf of M&C's client, under a two prong analysis, finding undisputed evidence that the Workers Compensation Act provided an exclusive remedy as to the client, a co-employee with no prior notice of a defect, and there is no liability for our client as a property owner, as the undisputed evidence showed our client had no ownership or control of the subject equipment. Furthermore the court found no cognizable claim for any violation of Civil Code 52.1. The plaintiff had demanded a high six-figure settlement at mediation. The matter was handled by Partner, Nanette G. Reed and Katelyn M. Knight.