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Coughlin Betke wins Summary Judgment

Coughlin Betke recently obtained summary judgment in Massachusetts federal court on behalf of a Fortune 500 retailer in a lawsuit brought by a plaintiff alleging more than $180,000 in damages. Plaintiff claimed she was injured when the cart she was using tipped over while plaintiff was checking out. Through discovery, Coughlin Betke established that (1) plaintiff had used the cart without incident while shopping; (2) plaintiff did not notify any of the defendant’s employees of any alleged problems with the cart; (3) defendant’s employees did not observe any defects in the cart after plaintiff’s incident; and (4) the cart was placed back into service and used without incident by other customers after plaintiff’s incident. Coughlin Betke argued that the undisputed facts established that defendant did not have actual or constructive notice of any alleged defect and that plaintiff could not prove any alleged defect caused her fall, since plaintiff had used the cart without issue. The federal court granted the motion, holding that plaintiff failed to establish a genuine dispute of material fact as to notice or causation.

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