Premises Liability Defense Verdict: Sutter O’Connell Successfully Defends Owner of Apartment Community

Posted on February 11th, 2020 by Matthew C. O’Connell

Sutter O’Connell attorney Chris Schroeck recently obtained a defense verdict in Davidson County Circuit Court in Nashville for a client which owns and manages apartment communities.   Plaintiff alleged that she stored art and other valuables in a garage she rented along with her apartment.  During heavy rains, the garage flooded and caused damage to much of her property.

The defense was simple:  Garages at this apartment community were meant for the storage of automobiles, not art collections.  Plaintiff’s lease even contained a provision limiting use of garages to storage of working vehicles.  If Plaintiff had valuable, easily damaged items, she should have stored them in a climate-controlled storage unit, not in a garage.  Moreover, the garage had no history of flooding.  Therefore, the owner was not on notice of any issues and did not breach any duty to the Plaintiff.  The jury of twelve deliberated for five hours before reaching a unanimous defense verdict.