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APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS

[Hon. Michael A. Ponsor, U.S. District Judge]

In the early morning hours of August 22, 1996, plaintiff-appellant Caroline Wilson injured herself in a fall down a darkened flight of steps in the home of defendant-appellee Pauline Copen. Wilson subsequently brought this diversity action against Copen and Copen’s liability insurer, defendant-appellee Valley Forge Insurance Co. (“Valley Forge”). The complaint alleged that Copen was negligent in failing to warn Wilson of unusual conditions – a narrow landing at the top of the stairs and a hidden light switch – that caused her to fall in the darkness. The complaint further alleged that Valley Forge engaged in unfair claim settlement practices when Wilson sought compensation for her injuries. See Mass Gen. Laws. chs. 93A & 176D, � 3. Following the close of discovery, Copen moved for summary judgment, which the district court granted on alternative grounds: that Copen owed Wilson no duty to warn, and that Wilson was more than 50% comparatively negligent. See Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 231, � 85. Because Copen was not liable, the court also awarded judgment to Valley Forge. Wilson appeals, contending that the court erred in concluding that no reasonable jury could find Copen liable. We agree and therefore vacate and remand.

 
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