Supreme Judicial Court Orders new Massachusetts Premises Liability Trial in Framingham Injury Lawsuit by Man Paralyzed with SCI from Trampoline Jump Into Wading Pool
Massachusett’s highest court is mandating that there be a new trial in the Framingham premises liability lawsuit filed by Cleber Dos Santos against two property owners. Dos Santos became paralyzed from the chest down after he flipped off a trampoline into an inflatable wading pool in 2005. The defendants, Jose Coleta and Maria Coleta, are his in-laws.
At the time, the plaintiff was a 29-year-old construction worker. He contends that Jose placed the trampoline next to the pool. After accumulating hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses, Dos Santos, his wife, and son (the latter two witnessed the incident) would go on to sue the Coletas for Framingham, MA personal injury.
In 2008, a Middlesex Superior Court jury ruled for the defendants. Dos Santos then appealed, but the Appeals Court upheld the jury’s decision, which took into consideration that landowners are not responsible for making warnings in circumstances where the peril is obvious to anyone with reasonable perception and average intelligence.
Now, however, the Supreme Judicial Court is saying that it is a landowner’s duty to remedy any danger that is obvious and open when he/she created the danger even while knowing that “lawful entrants” might encounter the hazard. In its unanimous opinion, the court said that despite issuing warnings, Jose knew that placing the trampoline next to the pool was a dangerous set up and that he could/should have anticipated that injuries might happen.
Massachusetts Premises Liability
Landlords, business owners, homeowners, public property owners, and the owners of other types of property have a legal obligation to keep up and secure their grounds so there are no hazardous conditions that could cause injury to guests, residents, patrons or customers. Failure to fulfill this duty of care, especially when the owner knew about the hazard yet didn’t do anything to repair/remove it, can be reason for a Boston premises liability case.
Massachusetts Swimming Accidents
Anytime there is a pool involved, there is a risk of drowning—even if the level of water is just two feet deep in a wading pool—and other serious injuries, which is why pool owners must make sure that any safety hazards are remedied. Boston slip and fall accidents and diving accidents are two other common, unfortunate swimming pool-related incidents that can happen.
Mass. high court orders new trial in lawsuit of man paralyzed after trampolining into Framingham pool, Boston.com, May 15, 2013
Court turns down appeal in Framingham diving accident case, MetroWest Daily News, December 6, 2011
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Boston Slip and Fall Cases Give Victims A Chance at Financial Recovery, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, April 26, 2013