Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A fall on wet bus steps.

Practice point:  The Appellate Division reversed the trial court and dismissed this action in which plaintiff allegedly was injured when he slipped and fell on the wet steps of defendant's bus as he was exiting its front door. At his deposition, plaintiff stated that it was snowing on the day of the accident, and that "lots of snow [had] accumulated everywhere."

The Appellate Division found that, contrary to the Supreme Court's determination, defendant demonstrated its prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by showing that it did not breach any duty to the plaintiff under the circumstances that existed at the time of the accident. Given the inclement weather conditions when the accident occurred, it would be unreasonable to expect defendant to constantly clean the bus steps.

Student note:  A common carrier is subject to the same duty of care as any other potential tortfeasor, namely, reasonable care under all the circumstances of the particular case.

Case:  Batista v. MTA Bus Co., NY Slip Op 5430 (2d Dept. 2015)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue: Contracts and damages for lost profits.