Friday, March 14, 2014

A trip and fall.

Practice point:  In this action based on plaintiff's trip and fall in the freight elevator hallway of defendants' building, defendants established as a matter of law their entitlement to judgment. They showed that the defect in which plaintiff's boot-heel allegedly became stuck was trivial, and did not constitute a dangerous or defective condition. Their expert inspected the floor area, and described it as "a patched region of concrete" with a height differential of less than one-eighth of an inch that was "free of chipped or damaged areas" and that formed a slight bowl-shaped depression.

In opposition, plaintiff did not come forward with any evidence to show that this shallow, gradual depression, which is generally regarded as trivial, could have been a trap or snare by reason of its location, adverse weather or lighting conditions or other circumstances.

Student note:  Plaintiff's argument that coffee or other liquids from the garbage stored near the accident site may have spilled in the area and caused her to slip is unavailing in view of her own testimony that she sas no debris or liquid in the elevator hallway when she entered the building or at the time of her fall.

Case:  Thomas v. Dever Props., LLC, NY Slip Op 01533 (2d Dept. 2014).

Monday's issue: Denial of summary judgment on a promissory note.