REVIEW FROM COURT OF APPEALS CASE NO. 2017-CA-000255-MR
JEFFERSON CIRCUIT COURT NO. 2014-CI-004970
COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT: John C. Dodson Nicholas Gaffney Evans
Thomas, Dodson & Wolford, PLLC
COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE: Berlin Tsai Joseph Patrick Hummel Lvnch
Cox Gilman & Goodman, P.S.C.
COUNSEL FOR KENTUCKY DEFENSE COUNSEL, INC. Joseph Wright
Thompson Miller & Simpson PLC Andrew McGrath Yocum Kriz,
Jenkins, Prewitt & Jones, PSC
Waugh appeals from an opinion of the Court of Appeals that
affirmed an order of the Jefferson Circuit Court dismissing
her claims for personal injuries in a civil action against
her landlords, John Parker and Carol Parker. Waugh's
claims were based upon injuries she sustained as a result of
a porch railing giving way, causing her to fall and suffer an
ankle injury. For the reasons explained below, we affirm.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
and her boyfriend, James Parnell, rented a single-family home
from the Parkers. The residence included a side porch
surrounded by an old, loose, and poorly maintained railing.
From her prior inspection and knowledge of the railing, Waugh
was aware of its condition.
December 2013, as Waugh opened the storm door leading from
the porch into the house, a sudden gust of wind caught the
door and knocked her into the railing. The railing gave way,
and Waugh fell to the asphalt surface below and fractured her
filed a civil action against the Parkers in the Jefferson
Circuit Court alleging they were liable for her injuries.
Following the completion of discovery, during which Waugh
disclosed in her deposition that she was aware of the poor
condition of the railing through her prior inspection and
knowledge of it, the circuit court granted summary judgment
in favor of the Parkers.
Court of Appeals affirmed the award of summary judgment, and
this Court granted discretionary review to examine the effect
of the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (the
URLTA) upon long-standing common law doctrine in Kentucky.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
considering a motion for summary judgment, a trial court must
view the record in a light most favorable to the non-moving
party, resolving all doubts in its favor. Steelvest, Inc.
v. Scansteel Serv. Ctr., Inc., 807 S.W.2d 476, 480 (Ky.
1991). The trial court may grant summary judgment only if it
concludes that no disputed issues of material fact exist for
trial. Id. On appeal of a summary judgment, we must
determine whether the trial court correctly found that the
moving party was entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.
Id. Because summary judgment involves questions of
law, we need not defer to the trial court's conclusions;
accordingly, we review the record de novo. Blevins
v. Moran, 12 S.W.3d 698, 700-01 (Ky. App.
THE PARKERS ARE NOT LIABLE TO WAUGH UNDER THE URLTA AND KRS
383.500 authorizes cities, counties, and urban-county
governments to enact the provisions of the URLTA. The Act has
been adopted in Jefferson County.
383.590 provides in relevant part that "[a]t the
commencement of the term a landlord shall deliver possession
of the premises to the tenant in compliance with the rental
agreement and KRS 383.595." KRS 383.595 (1)(a) provides
that a landlord shall "[c]omply with the requirements of