New Orleans dismissed in five-year-old slip and fall suit

Alejandro de los Rios Nov. 11, 2010, 1:58am


Orleans Parish Civil District Chief Judge Lloyd Medley dismissed the city of New Orleans from a five-year-old slip and fall suit after granting the city's motion for summary judgment on Oct. 29.

Orleans resident Merkel Marshall sued New Orleans for allegedly failing to maintain the Palmetto Bridge, thus causing a step to crack and cause Marshall to fall and hit his head.

River Ridge attorneys Jeanne Demarest, Bart Kelly and Roderick Alvendia are represented Marshall. Demarest filed the original petition for damages in November 2005.

Assistant City Attorney Derek Mercadal filed a motion for summary judgment in this case in March 2008. It argued that the city should be dismissed from all charges because "it did not have notice, either constructive or actual, of the alleged defective steps at the Palmetto Footbridge" prior to the accident and thus cannot be held liable according to La. R.S. 9:2800.

A March 2008 hearing for the motion was continued to April at the request of the city. Defense counsel then requested the April date be continued because they had "been unable to contact or locate the Plaintiff and needs time to hire and [sic] investigator to find him."

Plaintiff counsel also filed motion to continue the trial date set for June 2008 for the same reasons. Defense counsel did not oppose the plaintiff's motions.

The case file indicates that the lawsuit remained idle for two years before a hearing for the motion for summary judgment was set for Oct. 29.

Orleans Parish Case 2005-12355

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