Stem v. ProutyAnnotate this Case
Appellant John Stem was helping to load a forklift at his place of work when another employee backed the forklift over a water meter cover which broke under the weight of the forklift. The forklift toppled and pinned Appellant to the ground, resulting in severe injuries and the amputation of his right leg. He sued Respondent Wesley Prouty, the owner and landlord of the property where the accident occurred, for negligence under a theory of premises liability for failing to keep the premises safe. Appellant alleged that the water meter cover was a light duty cover and was inadequate to support heavy duty vehicles such as forklifts. He later amended his complaint to include a negligence-per-se claim against Respondent for failing to obtain a building permit in violation of city and state codes, which he argued would have likely led to the discovery of the defective water meter cover. The district court granted Respondent's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, dismissing the negligence claim based on premises liability. Respondent filed a second Motion for Summary Judgment on the negligence-per-se claim which was originally denied by the court. Then, upon Motion for Reconsideration, the court granted Respondent summary judgment. Appellant appealed the judgments in favor of Respondent. Upon review, the Supreme Court found no genuine issues of material facts. Accordingly, the district court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of Respondent.