As previously discussed on this blog, when you are bringing a lawsuit to recover damages for a slip and fall that happens after a snow storm, it's necessary to be familiar with applicable laws and regulations that govern how much time a property owner has after the end of a storm to make the adjoining sidewalk reasonably safe to walk on. In the following case, a pre-trial motion to dismiss the injury victim's case was denied and affirmed by the appeals court, finding that a question of faction was established in the victim's opposition papers regarding whether they property owner caused or exacerbed the icy conditon or failed to remediate the slipping hazard within a reasonable period of time.
Ortiz v New York City Hous. Auth.
Decided on September 11, 2014
Appellate Division, First Department
Order, Supreme Court, New York County (Anil C. Singh, J.), entered June 14, 2013, denying defendant's motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint, unanimously affirmed, without costs.
In this action for personal injuries allegedly suffered by plaintiff when she tripped and fell on the sidewalk adjacent to defendant's residential building, the trial court properly denied defendant's motion. The climatological records establish that it snowed two days prior to plaintiff's accident, the temperature fluctuated within a few degrees above and below the freezing point during the interim period, and there was sixteen inches of accumulated snow and ice on the ground from prior recent storms. Defendant's grounds supervisor attested that the sidewalk had been plowed on the day of the last storm, and that he had last noted icy conditions at 8:00 a.m. the day before the accident. Plaintiff testified, however, that the sidewalk was not cleared of snow and ice, rather, only a relatively narrow path had been partially cleared and large mounds of snow abutted the path on either side. She further testified that the path was dirty and wet due to runoff from the mounds of snow and that while walking in the pathway, she slipped on a hard, gray, dirty patch of ice that had accumulated in a defect in the sidewalk.
Accepting plaintiff's account for the purposes of this motion (see Sosa v 46th St. Dev. LLC, 101 AD3d 490, 493 [1st Dept 2012]), the evidence raises issues of fact as to whether defendant's procedures either created or exacerbated the icy condition that allegedly caused the [*2]accident and whether the condition was present for a sufficient period of time within which it could have been discovered and remedied (see Rodriguez v Bronx Zoo Rest., Inc., 110 AD3d 412 [1st Dept 2013]; Sanchez v City of New York, 48 AD3d 275, 276 [1st Dept 2008])
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a serious injury or fatality due to Slip and Fall on ice, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an experienced federal and state courts serious personal injury trial lawyer at The Maurer Law Firm, PLLC to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION to discuss your rights by filling out our free website "Tell Us About Your Case" review form, or phone us directly at 845- 896-5295.
Ira Maurer is recognized by Super Lawyers as an outstanding lawyer who has attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. Ira Maurer is also a Lifetime Member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.