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Robinson v. Mueller

Court of Appeals of Idaho

April 1, 2014

TWYLLA ROBINSON, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
CONNIE MUELLER, as personal representative of the Estate of Hazel Marquardt, Defendant-Respondent

2014 Opinion No. 26

Appeal from the District Court of the First Judicial District, State of Idaho, Benewah County. Hon. Fred M. Gibler, District Judge.

James, Vernon & Weeks, P.A., Coeur d'Alene, for appellant. Cynthia K.C. Meyer argued.

Michael L. Haman, Coeur d'Alene, for respondent.

MELANSON, Judge. Judge LANSING and Judge GRATTON, CONCUR.

OPINION

Page 320

[156 Idaho 238] MELANSON, Judge

Twylla Robinson appeals from the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Connie Mueller, as personal representative of the Estate of Hazel Marquardt. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

I.

FACTS AND PROCEDURE

Marquardt (the landlord) owned a two-story home and rented the second level as an apartment to a tenant. The apartment's bedroom contained access out onto the roof through a recessed dormer. A door opened out onto the dormer into an area 11.5 by 7.5 feet. The dormer did not contain any railings. When the tenant moved into the apartment, the landlord warned the tenant about the dormer not having any railings.

In September 2009, Robinson and the tenant met at a local bar. The two shared drinks and then went to the tenant's apartment. Inside the bedroom, the tenant opened the door to the dormer to let in cool air and to enjoy the view. The tenant then went downstairs to retrieve an item from his car. During this time, Robinson wrapped herself in a blanket and walked toward the recessed dormer. As Robinson went through the doorway, she tripped and fell. Robinson rolled off the dormer and onto the ground 12 feet below. As a result of the fall, Robinson broke her femur. Following the incident, Marquardt passed away. Robinson sued Mueller, as personal representative of the estate, for damages resulting from the fall. Mueller moved for summary judgment and the district court granted the motion. Robinson appeals.

II.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

We first note that summary judgment under I.R.C.P. 56(c) is proper only when there is no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. On appeal, we exercise free review in determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists and whether the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Edwards v. Conchemco, Inc., 111 Idaho 851, 852, 727 P.2d 1279, 1280 (Ct. App. 1986). When assessing a motion for summary judgment, all controverted facts are to be liberally construed in favor of the nonmoving party. Furthermore, the trial court must draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the party resisting the ...


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