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Tieder v. Little

Florida District Court of Appeal
502 So.2d 923 (1987)


Sheila and Richard Tieder (plaintiffs) filed a wrongful death suit against architect Robert Little and others (defendants) after their daughter, Trudi, was killed when a brick wall collapsed on her as she walked out of the front door of a dormitory at the University of Miami (defendant). Around 9:00 p.m. on the evening of the incident, two students were attempting to clutch-start a vehicle in front of the dormitory when the car suddenly started, and the driver lost control. The vehicle left the driveway, lurched over a three-inch curb, and traveled 30 feet across a grassy area before colliding with an elevated walkway in front of the dormitory. The car then jumped onto the walkway and pinned Trudi against the brick wall. Because the brick wall had been negligently built, without adequate supports as required by relevant building codes, the entire wall collapsed on top of Trudi, killing her. A medical examiner concluded that Trudi would not have died if the wall had not fallen. In addition to naming Little and the University of Miami as defendants, the Tieders added the owner and operator of the vehicle as defendants. Additionally, the Tieders’ suit included various negligence claims, including negligence in the design and construction of the brick wall. Little moved to dismiss the complaint and argued that his alleged negligent acts were not the proximate cause of Trudi’s death. The University of Miami moved for summary judgment. The trial court granted both defendants’ motions. The Tieders appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Hubbart, J.)

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