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Frank Summers and Joselyn Summers v. United States of America

September 14, 2012

FRANK SUMMERS AND JOSELYN SUMMERS, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Joseph E. Irenas

OPINION PURSUANT TO FED. R. CIV. P. 52(a)(1)

IRENAS, Senior District Judge:

This is a personal injury negligence suit brought pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346(b), 2671 et seq. Plaintiff Frank Summers fell from a ladder permanently affixed to the side of the Doughboy Gymnasium building located at the Fort Dix, New Jersey military base. The Complaint contains three counts: negligence, premises liability, and Plaintiff Joselyn Summers' loss of consortium claim.

A bench trial was held on July 30 - August 2; August 6; and August 15, 2012. The Court now issues this Opinion in accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 52(a)(1).*fn1 Section I contains stipulated facts (subsection A) and facts found by the Court (subsection B). Section II contains conclusions of law. For the reasons stated herein, the Court concludes that Defendant was not negligent, and therefore will enter judgment in its favor.

I.

A. Stipulated facts*fn2

1. Frank Summers was born on November 2, 1957.

2. The Doughboy Gymnasium and the ladder affixed thereto were owned by the United States Department of the Army.*fn3

3. Mr. Summers was legally on the premises on January 2, 2008 and used the subject ladder to access the roof of Doughboy Gymnasium.

4. On January 2, 2008, Mr. Summers fell off the subject ladder.

5. On January 2, 2008, Mr. Summers was transported from Fort Dix to Virtua Memorial Hospital, Mount Holly, New Jersey for treatment.

6. Plaintiff Joselyn Summers is Frank Summers' wife, and has been since before January 2, 2008.

B. Findings of Fact

1. During the relevant time period, Mr. Summers was employed as a roofer by Patriot Roofing.

2. Patriot was the subcontractor for Puente Construction Enterprises Incorporated which contracted with the Army to repair ...


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