Sunday, November 10, 2013

Hale v. Ostrow case brief

Hale v. Ostrow case brief summary
166 S.W.3d 713 (2005)

Plaintiff pedestrian sued defendant property owners after she was injured while stepping off a sidewalk. The Circuit Court of Shelby County, Tennessee, granted summary judgment for defendants. The Court of Appeals (Tennessee) affirmed. The plaintiff appealed.

The plaintiff was walking home from a bus stop in Memphis, Tennessee. As she left the sidewalk, she tripped over a chunk of concrete and fell into the street. Her left hip was crushed in the fall. She filed suit against defendant property owners, on theories of premises liability and public nuisance.


  • Memphis, Tenn., Code of Ordinances § 34-120 required property owners to keep sidewalks free from overgrowth. 
  • There were genuine issues of material fact as to whether the defendants' breach of their duty of care caused plaintiff's injury. 
  • The determination of whether the overgrown bushes were a proximate cause of plaintiff's injury was a question of fact for the jury. 
  • The trial court erred by granting summary judgment to defendants.
The judgment of the court of appeals was reversed, and the case was remanded to the trial court.

Suggested Study Aids For Tort Law

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