No negligence by country club over curb fall injury claim, appeals court affirms

By John Breslin | Sep 25, 2018

An appeals court has ruled in favor of a country club sued by an individual who claimed negligence after falling when stepping off a curb outside the premises.

The 14th Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court decision to grant summary judgment in favor of the Sugar Creek Country Club in Sugar Land, a Texas suburb. The trial court did not elaborate on the reasons for granting summary judgment, according to the appeals court documents.

Asma Said sued the club under premises liability laws after she fell when leaving the building following a wedding reception at the country club in June, 2014.

She and her husband left the reception around around 11pm. In her deposition,  Said said she left the building, then turned left down a tiled patio toward the parking lot.

"Her husband remained at the entrance to the club talking with friends," the appeals court documents state.

"After walking several steps along the tiled patio, Said decided to step off the patio onto the sloping driveway leading towards the parking lot.

"She testified that at the point where she stepped off the patio, the curb dividing the patio from the driveway was painted red and she was aware there was a step down.

"She explained the step was higher than she anticipated. As she stepped off, her foot “kept going” and she fell."

Said filed the claim against Sugar Creek and was seeking to recover damages based on the negligence of the premises and further damages for gross negligence.

Justice J. Brett Busby, who wrote the unanimous opinion, wrote, "We conclude Sugar Creek established as a matter of law that the curb did not pose an unreasonable risk of harm. Therefore, the trial court properly granted summary judgment on Said’s negligence claim."

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