News

Litigation Team Wins in Court of Appeals

July 13, 2011
Raleigh, NC

R. Jonathan Charleston and Jose A. Coker secured a hard fought victory when the North Carolina Court of Appeals upheld a trial court’s order granting summary judgment and dismissing claims against the City of Fayetteville in a wrongful death case. This case involved a single-car accident in Fayetteville that claimed the life of a young woman.  The accident occurred when the driver and the passenger, who had been drinking over the course of the evening, tried to drive over a median.  Their car struck a pole supporting a red light camera, and the camera fell on the passenger’s side, killing the passenger.  Plaintiffs alleged that the City breached its “duty to exercise ordinary care to maintain its streets and public ways in a reasonably safe condition for all who use them in a proper manner.” The City argued that it was entitled to summary judgment on the grounds that it had no duty to maintain the highway in a safe condition for the benefit of the Plaintiffs’ decedent.  The Court of Appeals agreed and ruled that the City had no duty to maintain the highway in a safe condition for the benefit of Plaintiff’s decedent.