Vassar v. Gulfbelt Properties, Inc.


Court: United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division

Date published: Apr 4, 2011


The uncontroverted evidence in the present matter shows that the Plaintiff was a resident of Summerville Court, a condominium organized under Alabama Statutes. Defendant Midtown Properties, LLC owned the unit that the Plaintiff has rented since 2006. The unit is managed by Gulfbelt Properties. John Napper is the president of Gulfbelt Properties. Under the Declaration of the Condominium, Summerville Court Condominium Association was responsible for the common elements of the condominium. 

During her tenancy, the Plaintiff experienced various maintenance issues with her condominium unit. Those issues included problems with the air conditioner, water heater, bathtub faucet, electrical outlet, closet door, and the front door to the building that housed her unit. However, the Defendants presented a log showing that the issues with her unit were addressed in a timely and appropriate manner by the Defendants. Moreover, the Plaintiff herself testified that all maintenance issues listed in her Amended Complaint had been corrected, except the leaky bathtub faucet.

The Plaintiff also experienced two falls at the condominium. One fall occurred on August 29, 2008, and the second fall occurred on December 24, 2008. However, by her testimony, she is not seeking damages for the first fall, but only for the second fall. At that time, the Plaintiff fell while reenacting the August 29, 2008 fall for her attorney. One of her treating physicians, Dr. James Crumb, specifically stated that the fall on December 24, 2008, was not a contributing factor to her injuries. There was no medical evidence presented to contradict the opinion of Dr. Crumb. Therefore, the only evidence of record clearly states that the falls did not cause injury or permanent impairment to the Plaintiff.

In this suit, the Plaintiff also seeks damages for damage to her vehicle. She claims in her Amended Complaint that the vehicle was damaged when it was struck by the condominium security gate. However, the photographs presented do not depict any damage to the Plaintiff’s vehicle. There is no evidence to show that the vehicle was damaged due to being struck by the gate, nor has any evidence been presented that the incident ever occurred.

Finally, Plaintiff claims that she was denied a downstairs unit even though her condition, avascular necrosis of the right hip, made it very difficult for her to navigate the stairs to her upstairs apartment. However, the Plaintiff admitted during her deposition that the Defendants offered her five different downstairs units to which she could move. She refused each unit for various reasons, including the location of the unit, the presence of carpet in the unit, a broken air conditioner (which is denied by the Defendants), and the assertion that one of the units did not have a closet (which is also denied by all Defendants). Therefore, the Plaintiff refused the reasonable accommodation offered by the Defendants.



Upon thorough review of the evidence, it is clear that the Plaintiff has failed to present a genuine issue of material fact as to any claim asserted in her Amended Complaint; therefore, all Defendants are entitled to a judgment as a matter of law as to all claims asserted in the Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint.


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