No summary judgment in mailbox case

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Appellants-Defendants, James and Erica Sparks (the Sparkses), appeal the trial court’s denial of their motion for summary judgment against Appellees-Plaintiffs, Chester and Barbara White (the Whites), on the Whites’ claim for negligence. The Sparkses present three issues for our review, which we restate as the following two:

(1) Whether the Sparkses are entitled to summary judgment on the issue of duty; and

(2) Whether the Sparkses are entitled to summary judgment on the issue of proximate cause.

Conclusion (slip op. at 15):  We conclude that the trial court did not err in denying the Sparkses’ motion for summary judgment. We remand this cause to the trial court for further proceedings.

Key Analysis (slip op. at 11, 14):  While we cannot fault the Sparkses for setting their mailbox close to the road in accordance with postal service guidelines, a factual question remains as to whether their particular mailbox presented an unreasonable risk of harm to motorists . . . a factual question exists as to whether the Sparkses owed the Whites a duty to design their mailbox differently . . . there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the Sparkses foresaw or should have foreseen that Barbara would leave the road and strike their mailbox, which was set three feet from the road.

About Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
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