Negligence & Premises Liability

The end of every letter signed by a member of Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney’s Negligence and Premises Liability Practice Group ends with the phrase, “We shall keep you advised.”

This simple statement is our way of telling each client that when it comes to the defense of a negligence or premises liability case, the process and result are often one and the same.

Premises liability claims arise in numerous ways including faulty flooring, slippery surfaces, poor lighting, insufficient security, inadequate maintenance, construction refuse, or the failure to train or supervise personnel in basic safety requirements.

We have accumulated an enviable record in defending successfully corporations, organizations and individuals in their capacities as owners and managers of commercial properties against a variety of premises liability allegations.

Moreover, we appreciate the serious financial exposure associated with premises liability accidents, and our lawyers stand ready to try any case if it is in the client’s best interest. We also counsel our clients in litigation avoidance.

Our attorneys are committed to keeping our clients apprised of all developments immediately and throughout our representation. We strive to determine the viability of our position and the probable value of the case at the earliest possible moment.

Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney has been defending civil actions in Rhode Island for decades. We are known and respected throughout the legal community.

Our attorneys offer a complete range of experience and expertise. In close consultation with our clients, we choose the level of experience which is appropriate for every case. In this way we can truly say that we do offer the best defense.

Representative cases:

– Defending a national retailer against allegations that it knew or should have known of an unsafe condition on its premises from merchandise jutting out onto an aisle, which caused a young child to trip and fracture her ankle. A trial before the Rhode Island Superior Court justice and jury resulted in a defense verdict, which was upheld on appeal in the Rhode Island Supreme Court.

– Defending two homeowners against assertions that they knew or should have known of an unsafe condition during a renovation project that caused a delivery person to injure his knee. A contractor had built a temporary stairway, which gave way on the plaintiff. On the basis that the homeowners had no actual notice of any latent defect, the Rhode Island Superior Court rendered a defense verdict, which was upheld on appeal in the Rhode Island Supreme Court.

– Defending a property owner in a premises liability action that was dismissed on summary judgment in the Rhode Island Superior Court and affirmed on appeal. In the process the Rhode Island Supreme Court articulated the legal principle which is cited to this day: “A property owner has no obligation to repair a defective sidewalk when there is no evidence that the property owner is the cause of the defect.” Saunders v. Howard Realty Co.