Question: Deanna Milligan was injured when she fell two stories while
Deanna Milligan was injured when she fell two stories while saving herself and her children from a fire that destroyed her apartment building. She sued the apartment owner (Chesterfield) and management company (McCormack), alleging negligence as to fire and city codes and ordinances, apartment rules and policies, smoke alarm inadequacies, and other matters. Chesterfield and McCormack asserted an affirmative defense of release, claiming that Milligan had signed and initialed an exculpatory clause that waived all liability to harms or loss of property suffered by any cause whatsoever, even if that cause was alleged to be the fault of or caused by the lessor. The defendants moved for summary judgment. Milligan countermotioned for a partial summary judgment. She argued that the paragraph containing the exculpatory clause was too broad and included nonreleasable subject matter. The trial court eventually granted the defendants' motion and denied Milligan's. Do you think that the exculpatory clause was declared unenforceable on appeal? Why or why not?
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