Court of Appeal affirmed grants for summary judgment for GMSR’s private landowner client

Plaintiff tripped and fell over a defect on a municipal sidewalk next to property owned by GMSR’s client, Street 41, LLC.  He sued the City of Oakland and Street 41 for failing to maintain the sidewalk.  The trial court granted the City’s and Street 41’s motions for summary judgment on the ground that neither party had a duty to fix the defect since it was trivial as a matter of law. On appeal, plaintiff argued that the superior court erred because neither the City nor Street 41 had supported their motions for summary judgment with undisputed evidence establishing that the size and characteristics of the defect rendered it legally trivial.

The Court of Appeal affirmed the grants of summary judgment.  Substantially adopting GMSR’s arguments, the court held that Street 41 did not have to establish that the defect was trivial because it was a private landowner that had no duty to fix a public sidewalk defect it did not create, and that the City did not have to fix the defect because it was trivial as a matter of law.

Court of Appeal Opinion – View Document