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New York Appellate Court Grants Summary Judgment to Defendant in Slip and Fall Case

Slip and fall accidents are all too common. A business may neglect to clean up snow and ice in a timely fashion, or an area grocery store may have an employee who doesn’t clean up a spill after being told to do so. These and many other scenarios can lead to a Syracuse premises liability lawsuit. Like other negligence actions, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the defendant breached a legal duty to him or her and that this was the proximate cause of his or her personal injuries in order to prevail at trial.

This can be a difficult proposition, especially if the allegedly dangerous condition was only present for a short time. Having effective legal representation can help improve the plaintiff’s chances of success on the merits of his or her claim.

Facts of the Case

The plaintiff in a recent case was a woman who sought monetary compensation for personal injuries she suffered during a slip and fall accident on the premises of an apartment building. She filed suit against the defendants, the owners of the building, seeking payment for her medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the fall. According to the plaintiff, her fall occurred due to the wet condition of a staircase at the building, and the defendants either knew about the condition or, in the exercise of due diligence, should have known about it.

The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, asking that the trial court dismiss the case against it. As grounds, the defendants insisted that they did not create the allegedly dangerous condition, nor did they have either actual or constructive notice of the danger described by the plaintiff in her complaint. The trial court denied the defendant’s motion, and they appealed.

The Court’s Decision

The appellate court reversed the lower court’s decision, thus granting the defendant’s motion to dismiss. According to the court on appeal, the defendants established,¬†prima facie, that they did not cause, create, or have actual or constructive notice of the wet condition on the staircase on which plaintiff allegedly slipped and fell. In so holding, the court noted that the plaintiff’s deposition testimony established that the water condition¬†did not exist for a sufficient period of time for the defendants to have discovered and remedied the problem. There being neither actual nor constructive notice of the danger, the defendants could not be held liable.

Schedule a Free Personal Injury Consultation in Rochester or Syracuse

You shouldn’t have to suffer because of someone else’s negligence in maintaining their property. If you have slipped and fallen at a place of business in the Syracuse or Rochester area, the law firm of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP is here to help. To schedule a free consultation to learn more about how our experienced New York premises liability attorneys can help you getting started on a claim against the responsible party, call us now at 315-479-9000. We do not charge any legal fees unless we recover money damages on your behalf.

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