Monday, June 23, 2014

No recovery from a fall on a slippery sidewalk.

Practice point:  Defendants made a prima facie showing of entitlement to summary judgment based upon plaintiff's testimony that he fell on a slippery sidewalk, during a period of heavy rain;  defendants' lack of prior notice of a dangerous condition;  and an expert opinion that there was no defect in the area of the fall.

Plaintiff's expert's finding lacked probative force and failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to the existence of a defective or dangerous condition in the absence of any assertion of a violation of a specific, applicable industry standard which contributed to the accident. Plaintiff's conclusory claim that a violation of 6 RCNY § 2-55(a)'s provision, concerning the maximum height for removable railings separating unenclosed sidewalk cafés, contributed to his injuries fails to raise a triable issue of fact. Likewise, plaintiff's claim that the sidewalk's condition violated Administrative Code of City of NY § 19-152(a), is unavailing. He failed to establish a causal relationship between the condition of the concrete patchwork, adjacent to the location of the fall, and the accident, and his claim that granite constituted an "unapproved non-concrete material" is unsupported.

Student note:  The mere fact that a sidewalk is inherently slippery by reason of its smoothness, or becomes more slippery when wet, does not constitute an actionable defect.

Case: Bock v. Loumarita Realty Corp., NY Slip Op 04426 (1st Dept. 2014)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue: It's raining golf balls.