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Needham v. Price

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

January 20, 2015

STEPHANIE L. NEEDHAM, Individually, And as " Guardian Ad Litem" for John Doe, Jane Doe and June Doe, Minor Children, Plaintiffs,
v.
ROY ALAN PRICE, Defendant

Heard in the Court of Appeals December 3, 2014

Page 161

Paul Louis Bidwell and Douglas A. Ruley, for plaintiff-appellant Guardian Ad Litem.

Jack W. Stewart, for defendant-appellee.

ELMORE, Judge. Judges STEPHENS and DAVIS concur.

OPINION

Page 162

Appeal by plaintiff fro order entered 3 February 2014 by Judge J. Thomas Davis in Buncombe County Superior Court, No. 12 CVS 04611.

Page 163

ELMORE, Judge.

Plaintiff, Guardian Ad Litem and parent of three minor children, appeals from an order granting defendant's motion for summary judgment against plaintiff on her claims on behalf of the minor children. After careful consideration, we affirm, in part; reverse, in part.

I. Facts

Stephanie L. Needham (plaintiff) and Roy Alan Price (defendant) had engaged in a long-term domestic relationship but were separated at some point before 20 November 2009. Three children were born of the relationship (the minor children). Plaintiff filed a complaint on 26 September 2012 alleging individual claims against defendant and also bringing claims on behalf of her minor children against defendant (the minor children's claims) for negligence, premises liability, negligent infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED), gross negligence, and punitive damages. In the complaint, plaintiff alleged, in relevant part, the following facts:

5. That [plaintiff and the minor children] were occupying a home owned by Defendant . . . when, at approximately 1:25 a.m., Defendant surreptitiously entered the residence through the garage and attic; as Defendant attempted to enter the dwelling area, he caused an attic ladder to unfold to the hallway below, striking [plaintiff] on the back of her head, neck and right shoulder and causing her serious and permanent injuries.
6. That [the] minor children were awakened by the noise from the attic and observed [plaintiff] being struck by the ladder; they recoiled in terror, screaming as [plaintiff] collapsed to the floor crying out in pain; and watched in shock as their father descended the ladder shouting ...

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