No duty assumed in construction negligence case

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Kenneth E. Smith, Jr., Cathy Smith, and Jeffery Harbrecht appeal the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to Gerhard King and Christine King. The Smiths and Harbrecht raise one issue, which we restate as whether the trial court erred when it determined that the Kings did not owe a duty to Kenneth.

Conclusion (slip op. at 12): We affirm the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to the Kings.

Key Analysis (slip op. at 12): Because Harbrecht had not yet completed the stairs from the residence’s first floor to the basement, leaving an open hole in the floor, Gerhard King nailed a plywood sheet against the opening. This one instance of a safety precaution taken by the Kings does not raise a jury question as to whether a duty was assumed.

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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