Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Anderson v. Fox Hill Village Homeowners Corp. case brief

Anderson v. Fox Hill Village Homeowners Corp. case brief summary
676 N.E.2d 821 (Mass. 1997)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff injured employee of tenant filed an action against defendant landlord for injuries caused when the employee fell on a patch of ice in the landlord's parking lot. The landlord filed a motion for summary judgment. The trial court granted the motion, and the employee appealed.

DISCUSSION

  • On appeal, the court found that the employee was not entitled to recover on either of the two theories advanced at trial. 
  • First, she was not entitled to recover as an intended third-party beneficiary of the lease between her employer and the landlord because she was not in fact an intended beneficiary of the lease. 
  • Additionally, the court held that the landlord's breach of his contractual obligation to remove accumulations of snow and ice did not make him liable in tort. 
  • Further, the court found that the employee could not recover in tort because under Massachusetts law, the landowner was liable only for injuries caused by defects existing on their property. 
  • The law did not regard the natural accumulation of snow and ice as an actionable property defect, if it regarded such weather conditions as a defect at all. 
  • Accordingly, summary judgment was proper.

CONCLUSION
The judgment of the trial court entering summary judgment in favor of the landlord was affirmed.


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