At 10:30 the Miss.S.Ct. will hear the interlocutory appeal of April Horton as Administratrix and on Behalf of the Estate of Emmanuel Erves v. City of Vicksburg which asks the question whether a city may be liable where someone is injured on property that violates building codes.
Malcolm Carson owned a home in Vicksburg that he rented out as a rooming house. Emmanuel Erves and Caleb Erves were both boarders. On February 24, 2014, Emmanuel either fell down the exterior stairs or was pushed by Caleb and died from his
injuries. The stairs – nine in total – were in disrepair and there was no top landing at the entrance. Horton sued the owners of the rooming house and, after some discovery, amended the complaint to add the City of Vicksburg for negligent inspection, negligent assignment, hiring and retention of employee Benjie Thomas. Vicksburg moved for summary judgment arguing that it was entitled to discretionary function immunity because code enforcement is a discretionary function based on the historic building provision of the relevant building code. The trial court granted the motion and Horton petitioned for an interlocutory appeal which was granted.
April Horton brief
City of Vicksburg brief
April Horton reply brief
Watch the argument here