On October 23, 2015, Gordon & Rees Philadelphia partner Sara Anderson Frey obtained summary judgment from the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in favor of her client, a major U.S. airline.
The plaintiff arrived at the Philadelphia International Airport, intending to check her luggage using the airline’s curbside services located outside the terminal. While on the public sidewalk outside the terminal, she tripped and fell, landing head first onto a cement barrier. The plaintiff, who required emergency eye surgery, claimed permanent injuries to her vision, neck, and back and sought significant damages from the airline. The plaintiff argued that, by issuing an airline ticket, the airline owed a duty to ensure that its passengers made it safely through the airport and to the gate. The airline denied any liability.
Frey moved for summary judgment because the airline did not own, possess, or otherwise control the public sidewalks outside of the airport and, therefore, had no duty to maintain the sidewalks or to warn of any potential defects. The court accepted Frey’s argument and dismissed all claims against the airline with prejudice. Summary judgment is rarely granted in Philadelphia County and the client is thrilled with the result and Frey's hard work.