ELEANOR KRONJAK, et al. Appellants
NEW PLAZA MANAGEMENT, LLC, et al. Appellees
FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF
SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. CV 2015-07-3574
A. APELT, Attorney at Law, for Appellants.
L. GLOWACKI and JAMES J. IMRIGIOTTA, Attorneys at Law, for
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
Plaintiffs-Appellants, Eleanor and Michael Kronjak ("the
Kronjaks"), appeal the judgment of the Summit County
Court of Common Pleas granting Defendant-Appellee, New Plaza
Management, LLC's, motion for summary judgment. For the
reasons set forth below, we affirm.
At approximately 8:15 p.m. on July 19, 2014, Mrs. Kronjak
sustained injuries after falling in the parking lot of a
restaurant located within a shopping plaza in Northfield,
Ohio. The Kronjaks, who frequently dined at this particular
restaurant, usually parked in the handicap parking spaces
near the restaurant's entrance. On that day, however, all
of the handicap parking spaces were taken and the Kronjaks
were forced to park in a regular parking space that was
further away from the restaurant's entrance.
After they finished eating dinner, the Kronjaks left the
restaurant and walked to their car. As Mrs. Kronjak was
attempting to enter the front passenger seat of the car
unaided, she stepped into an unseen hole that was located
"underneath and next to the passenger door of the
vehicle." The hole measured approximately five to six
inches deep, two to two and a half inches long, and one to
one and a half feet wide. Upon stepping into the hole, Mrs.
Kronjak fell to the pavement and sustained a fracture to her
left wrist and injuries to her left hip and leg.
On July 16, 2015, the Kronjaks filed a complaint in the
Summit County Court of Common Pleas asserting a negligence
claim against New Plaza Management, LLC. Mr. Kronjak also
asserted a claim for loss of services, consortium, and
companionship of his wife for a period of time following the
incident in question. New Plaza Management, LLC thereafter
filed an answer denying the allegations set forth in the
Kronjaks' complaint. The matter then proceeded through
the discovery process.
On May 5, 2016, New Plaza Management, LLC filed a motion for
summary judgment with respect to the Kronjaks' negligence
and loss of consortium claims on the basis that the hole in
the shopping plaza's parking lot was open and obvious and
not an unreasonably dangerous condition. On June 6, 2016, the
Kronjaks filed a brief in opposition to New Plaza Management,
LLC's motion for summary judgment. On June 17, 2016, the
trial court granted summary judgment in favor of New Plaza
Management, LLC. In so doing, the trial court concluded that
the hole in the shopping plaza's parking lot where Mrs.
Kronjak fell was an open and obvious danger, thus obviating
New Plaza Management, LLC's duty to warn Mrs. Kronjak, an
invitee, of hazardous conditions on its premises and barring
her negligence claim.
The Kronjaks filed this timely appeal and raise one
assignment of error for our review.
trial court erred in granting the Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment since genuine issues of material fact
existed demonstrating that Defendant breached its duty of
care to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition,
which breach of duty directly and ...