News Brief

Del Gatto, Rebholz and Allin Successfully Obtain Full Dismissal Against Plaintiff’s Appeal

October 14, 2021

Brian Del Gatto (Partner-Phoenix, AZ | Stamford, CT | Hartford, CT), Jennifer Rebholz (Of Counsel- Phoenix, AZ Phoenix) and Taylor Allin (Associate-Phoenix, AZ) successfully defended against the plaintiff’s appeal for a complete dismissal of all claims against their clients. The plaintiff, a worker for the defendant’s management company, was injured when he fell through a carport roof he was cleaning.  The plaintiff filed a claim against both the management company and the owner of the apartment complex, who had hired the management company to maintain the property.

Brian, Jennifer and Taylor were able to achieve dismissals for both defendants in pretrial motions by proving that plaintiff’s claims were not proper as he was an employee of the management company. The plaintiff appealed, arguing that he was an employee of a staffing agency and not the management company.  He further argued that the owners of the apartment complex owed him a duty to warn of unreasonably dangerous conditions.

On appeal, the team successfully argued that the plaintiff was a “lent employee” of the management company and thus was precluded from bringing a claim. They also argued that because the plaintiff was an “employee” of the independent contractor management company, the apartment complex did owe a duty of care to the plaintiff. The Arizona Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court’s dismissal of the claims. The plaintiff’s demand before trial was $2,000,000.

Read the decision.

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