from the Lake Superior Court. The Honorable John M. Sedia,
Judge. Trial Court Cause No. 45D01-1509-CT-169
Attorney for Appellant Robert A. Plantz Robert A. Plantz
& Associates, LLC Merrillville, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellee Kimberly P. Peil Lauren K. Kroeger
Hoeppner Wagner & Evans LLP Merrillville, Indiana
Darden, Senior Judge
of the Case
Frances Dehoyos appeals the trial court's grant of
summary judgment in favor of Golden Manor Apartments. We
reverse and remand.
Dehoyos raises one dispositive issue, which we restate as:
whether the trial court erred in granting Golden Manor's
motion for summary judgment.
and Procedural History
Golden Manor is a senior citizen living facility located in
Hammond, Indiana. During the winter of 2013, Golden
Manor's maintenance staff would generally arrive at work
at 8:00 a.m. to inspect the parking lot and sidewalk for ice
and snow. In its response to Dehoyos' interrogatories,
Golden Manor indicated that its policy was to have staff also
apply salt to sidewalks as needed. Golden Manor had also
contracted with Meier Snow Plow Company to clear snow from
the parking lot and to apply salt to sidewalks and the
parking lot. However, under the terms of the contract, Meier
performed ice melting applications only when directed by
Dehoyos lived at Golden Manor. Earlier, in 2013, she had
experienced a situation wherein Golden Manor's management
had failed to ensure that snow was removed from the
sidewalks. As she walked toward the building, she found
herself up to her ankles in icy snow. On that occasion, the
building's manager helped her walk through the snow and
ice. On other occasions, Dehoyos observed that Golden
Manor's management failed to clean snow and ice off
sidewalks "until late afternoon." Appellant's
App. Vol. II, p. 49. She had also heard other residents
complain about a lack of timeliness in clearing off ice and
snow on the premises.
On the morning of Sunday, December 29, 2013, there was snow
on the ground, and it had been there for a few days. It was
cold. Meier's workers had applied salt at Golden Manor
over the previous several days. There is no evidence that
Golden Manor's staff inspected the sidewalks or applied
salt on the morning of December 29, 2013. Between 10:00 a.m.
and 11:00 a.m., Dehoyos exited Golden Manor's building.
The door she used opened onto a sidewalk that led to the
parking lot. A portion of the building's downspout was
located on top of the sidewalk.
Dehoyos took approximately two steps onto the sidewalk and
then slipped and fell on ice, striking her head. Although the
sidewalk had initially appeared clear, there was a
"glaze" of ice on it. Id. at 41, 46.
Dehoyos bled from a cut on her head. She managed to return to
her apartment and called her children, and was taken to the
hospital. She also sustained an injured ankle. Further, after
the fall Dehoyos began experiencing recurring headaches and
It appears from Golden Manor's phone records that Golden
Manor called Meier shortly before 11:00 a.m. It further
appears that Meier's employees went to Golden Manor
shortly thereafter and again at approximately 3:30 p.m. that
day and applied two bags of salt at some point during those
visits. On the next day, December 30, ...