Roumbos v. Samuel G. Vazanellis & Thiros and Stracci, PCAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s order granting summary judgment for Defendants - a lawyer and his law firm - in this lawyer malpractice case, holding that Defendants failed to negate the causation element of Plaintiff’s malpractice claim.
Plaintiff fell and severely fractured her legs while visiting her husband in the hospital. Plaintiff retained Defendants to represent her against the hospital, but Defendants failed to sue the hospital within the applicable statute of limitations. At issue was whether Plaintiff would have won her claim against the hospital had Defendants timely sued, thus establishing the second prong of the “trial-within-a-trial” doctrine. On appeal, both parties conceded that Plaintiff did not know of the tripping risk that she claimed caused her fall. The Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s order granting summary judgment for Defendants, holding that Defendants failed to establish, as a matter of law, that Plaintiff would not have succeeded in her premises-liability claim against the hospital, thus precluding summary judgment.