Attorneys for Plaintiffs: Neil Shankman, Esq. Shankman &
Associates Jeanne Sund, Esq. Robinson Kriger & McCallum
Attorney for Defendant RJ Grondin & Sons: Jonathan
Brogan, Esq. Norman Hanson & Detroy
Attorney for Defendants Sears Roebuck and Co. and GGP Maine
Mall LLC: David Szewczyk, Esq. David F. Szewczyk, PA
ORDER ON R.J. GRONDIN'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
R. J. Grondin & Sons ["Grondin"] has filed a
Motion for Summary Judgment, contending that it is entitled
to judgment as a matter of law because it owed no duty, in
tort or contract or otherwise, to Plaintiffs Norma and Norman
Billings. Plaintiffs oppose the Motion, and Grondin has filed
a reply memorandum.
court elects to decide the Motion without oral argument.
See M.R. Civ. P. 7(b)(7).
material facts are undisputed for purposes of the Motion:
and Norman Billings are husband and wife. On the afternoon of
January 13, 2015, they went to the Maine Mall, which houses a
collection of retail stores, including a store operated by
Defendant Sears, Roebuck & Co. Sears leases the store
from the Mall owner, Defendant GGP-Maine Mall, LLC.
Billings were walking on the sidewalk toward the outside
entrance to the Sears store, Norma Billings slipped and fell
within just a few feet of the entrance, because the sidewalk
at that place was coated with patches of ice that had a
dusting of recent snow that had fallen the day before. As a
result of her fall, Norma Billings sustained a serious injury
to her wrist and hand and underwent extensive medical
material times, Grondin was the snow and ice removal
contractor for the Maine Mall, under a written Snow and Ice
Removal Services Agreement dated October 1, 2013.
See Exhibit A to Grondin's Motion for Summary
Judgment. The contract imposes a wide range of obligations on
Grondin, including monitoring weather conditions, and taking
"all steps necessary in accordance with high quality
standards and best practices to ensure that the [Maine Mall]
Property is free of ice and snow . . ." See
Exhibit l to Snow and Ice Removal Services Agreement, section
B. On being notified of the need for snow and ice removal,
Grondin is contractually obligated to use best efforts to
commence removal within one hour and to complete removal
within three hours. See id., section C.
records indicate that it conducted snow and ice removal
operations on January 12, 2015, the day before Norma Billings
fell, but are unclear as to whether any operations occurred
on the day of her fall.
purposes of its Motion, Grondin does not dispute
Plaintiffs' claim that it failed to make the sidewalk
safe for persons entering the Sears store. Instead, Grondin
argues that, even assuming the facts are as Plaintiffs
allege, Grondin cannot be held liable to them, either in tort
or in contract, as a matter of law. To obtain summary
judgment, Grondin must show that ...