Firm obtains summary judgment for university dismissing student’s personal injury claim

BOSTON (Feb. 18, 2014) – Steve Adams and Tim Groves recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of a university dismissing a student’s personal injury lawsuit.

A Massachusetts Superior Court judge agreed that dismissal was appropriate because the student failed to provide sufficient direct evidence or create an inference from the facts that the university’s actions caused her injuries.

The student injured her eye and lacerated her forehead after becoming unconscious and falling in a dormitory shower stall. She alleged the university, based in Massachusetts, had negligently installed and maintained a metal “shower caddy” in the shower stall, and that the caddy encumbered useable space in the stall.

However, she had no memory of how she injured her eye and forehead and no one witnessed her fall. A police officer responding to the incident reported finding evidence of blood on the shower water control dial, but nowhere else.

The student “cannot provide sufficient direct evidence or establish facts which would allow a rational fact-finder to make an inference of probability that the shower caddy was more likely than not the cause of injury,” Judge Dennis J. Curran wrote in his opinion.

“We are pleased that our client will not have to incur additional costs defending against this lawsuit,” said Groves. “The student simply failed to produce any evidence to support her allegation of negligence on the part of the university. This is the right result.”

About Barton Gilman

Barton Gilman is one of New England’s leading civil litigation law firms with offices in Boston and Providence. Its experienced trial attorneys appear regularly in the federal and state courts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The Providence Business News named the firm five consecutive years as one of Rhode Island’s Best Places to Work (2008–2012).