Boyd & Jenerette Partner Kate Aguiar Recently Obtained Final Summary Judgment

December 5, 2022 by on News

Kate Aguiar Recently Obtained Final Summary Judgment In Favor Of Our Client In a Premises Liability Case Involving a Slip and Fall On a Wooden Deck at an Insured Residence

The Plaintiff was the employee of an independent contractor who slipped and fell while he was at the insured home to provide lawn treatment. He sued the homeowner under a negligence theory and alleged an injury to his lumbar spine, which resulted in pain management treatment as well as two surgeries and a recommendation for a potential future SI joint fusion. Kate moved for summary judgment, arguing that the homeowner was immune from the suit as he was the employee of an independent contractor injured while performing work under a contract and that the condition of the deck was open and obvious. Plaintiff argued that his status on the property was that of a business invitee because he was accessing the property to perform lawn services and not to perform work on the deck, and, therefore, Defendant owed him a duty to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition, which would not be discharged by an open and obvious defense.  Plaintiff further argued that whether the condition of the deck was open and obvious is a fact question that would preclude summary judgment.

Following a hearing on Defendant’s motion for summary judgment, the judge agreed that the Plaintiff was injured while performing work under a contract, and, therefore, the lesser duty of care would apply. The court further found that, based on a photo of the deck taken by the Plaintiff and the Plaintiff’s own testimony regarding the condition of the deck, no reasonable jury could find that the condition of the deck was not open and obvious, and the Defendant was therefore immune from the suit under Florida law. The court entered a final judgment in Defendant’s favor.

Kate A. Aguiar
Direct: 904.353.4321

About Kate A. Aguiar

Kate Aguiar focuses her practice on auto liability defense, premises liability, general litigation, and insurance defense.

The defense of motor vehicle claims is the largest part of her practice. She handles both first party and third party matters, ranging from minor collisions to more complex accidents involving high value injuries and liability disputes. She also manages auto accidents where one party is alleged to be driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol.

Ms. Aguiar also defends a range of premises liability claims alleging slip, trip and fall accidents as well as negligent security.

Ms. Aguiar majored in Hispanic Language and Literature at Boston University and is fluent in Spanish. She spent a summer in Spain as an exchange student at age 16 and later worked as an English teacher in Ecuador.

She attributes much of her success to a strong work ethic and thorough attention to detail. She works closely with clients in an effort to build a trusting business relationship.

In her spare time, Ms. Aguiar enjoys activities with her family and their pets and is a fitness enthusiast.

Comprehensive Services

Many cases overlap several areas of law. As a full service law firm, we are able to recognize how one legal discipline impacts another. We work as a team on complex issues that require knowledge of a variety of state and federal laws. This multi-disciplinary approach allows clients to receive the large-firm advantage of access to multiple attorneys in a wide scope of practice areas as well as the hands-on customer service offered by a boutique law firm. In addition to civil litigation, employment law, workers’ compensation defense, commercial law, construction law and appeals, our firm also handles professional liability claims.

Our bilingual staff is available to assist with immigration matters, including consular and removal defenses.