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June 2013 Archives

R.I.S.C. affirms "Connecticut" Rule for Landlord Liability

The Rhode Island Supreme Court has affirmed the use of the "Connecticut" rule with respect to when a landlord has an obligation to begin removing snow and ice following a storm.  The rule states that the landlord does not have a duty to begin removing the snow or ice until the storm stops.  Nonetheless, the Court held that plaintiff's own inconsistent statements about the weather created an issue of fact that prevented summary judgment. 

First Circuit Remands for Hearings on Foreclosure Stays

The First Circuit has remanded 150 so-called "MERS" cases for action on a magistrate judge's recommendation that some be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and for hearings on whether the district court should continue foreclosure  stays imposed in approximately 700 cases pending in the United State District Court for the District of Rhode Island.  The Circuit Court also ordered the district court to hold the hearing at the earliest reasonable date. 

Asbestos-Superior Court adopts "frequency, regularity, proximity" test for causation

The Superior Court has adopted the "frequency, regularity, proximity" test for proof of causation in asbestos.  The Court considered and rejected several alternative tests: the "exposure-to-risk" test, the "defendant-specific-dosage-plus-substantial-factor" test, and the "each and every exposure" test. 

Asbestos, Government Contractor Defense, Amending Pleadings

The Rhode Island Superior Court has granted a defendant's motion to amend its pleadings to assert the government contractor defense in an asbestos case.  Plaintiff had objected because the defendant had not asserted the defense in its initial answer and trial was scheduled to start in a few months. 

Products Liability and Res Ipsa Loquitor

The Rhode Island Supreme Court has rejected the application of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor (RIL) to products liability claims against a car dealer where plaintiff's injury occurred three years after the sale of the vehicle.  The Court similarly denied negligent misrepresentation claims.