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BWB&O Partner Tyler Offenhauser and Associate Lizbeth Lopez Won Their Motion for Summary Judgment Based on the Privette Doctrine

TDO and Lizbeth Lopez

Bremer Whyte Brown & O’Meara, LLP is excited to share that Newport Beach Partner Tyler D. Offenhauser and Associate Lizbeth E. Lopez recently won their Motion for Summary Judgment based on the Privette Doctrine!

BWB&O’s Client is a local provider of fire safety services and equipment offering nationwide services. The Client was sued in an action pertaining to a claimed dangerous condition of its electrical panel resulting in an arc flash explosion on the Client’s leased property. The Plaintiff asserted that BWB&O’s Client allowed the existence of a defective, outdated, and dangerous electrical panel to exist when Plaintiff performed professional electrical services on BWB&O’s Client’s property as an independent contractor electrician.

BWB&O attacked the claims from the start by successfully filing Motions to Compel Further Discovery Responses, forcing Plaintiff to specify factual allegations and reasons for the claimed dangerous condition of the electrical panel. Thereafter, with the lack of evidence of dangerous condition, BWB&O attacked Plaintiff’s complaint during his deposition by relying on Privette to rule out all exceptions to ensure that their Client did not owe a duty to Plaintiff. BWB&O then filed its Motion for Summary Judgment as to the entire complaint, asserting that Privette applied thereby delegating the duty of creating a safe workplace to complete the electrical work, emphasizing that Plaintiff retained control of the project, BWB&O’s Client did not conceal a dangerous condition or furnish defective equipment, and relevant electrical regulations were inapplicable defeating the application of the nondelegable duty doctrine.

The Court examined the controlling judicial authorities agreeing that Plaintiff as a licensed electrician should have made the determination whether the electrical panel was in a dangerous condition, ruled in BWB&O’s client’s favor, and granted Summary Judgment!

Congratulations to Tyler and Lizbeth on a fantastic result!