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New York City Slip and Fall - Defendant did not lack Constructive Notice on Summary Judgment Motion


New York City Slip and Fall

Slip and Fall Accidents can result in permanent injury and life long turmoil. New York City Slip and Fall injuries are common and, as this case shows, will often be fought by the owner of the premises if there is not clear liability. Here, this New York City Slip and Fall premise owner is the August Wilson Theater. The theater fights this case, on summary judgment, by putting forward the defense that the theater lacked constructive notice.

Here, "Plaintiff alleges that as he was returning to a show at defendant August Wilson Theater after having gone outside during intermission, he slipped on a wet staircase, causing him to sustain injuries...The Court here finds that evidence submitted by defendant was insufficient to establish prima facie that it lacked constructive notice of the alleged water hazard."

What is notice of a hazardous or dangerous condition? Notice can be actual notice, (where the defendant knew or was actually aware of the dangerous condition) or constructive, such as in this case, which means that a dangerous condition existed for long enough that it could have and should have been found out and addressed. All of these cases bear in common that the evidence is there to support the conclusion that the dangerous condition which caused the slip and fall was present for such a period of time that it should have been discovered and remedied. "Although defendant [here] described its general cleaning routines at the theater, it failed to offer specific evidence as to its activities on the day of the accident, including evidence indicating the last time the staircase was inspected or maintained before plaintiff fell." Although Plaintiff survived a motion for summary judgment, the trial of this matter may bear a completely different result.

Conclusion: "In any event, in opposition, plaintiff raised an issue of fact as to notice of the alleged wet condition and whether defendant had adequate time to remedy the condition, based on his testimony that he told an usher prior to going outside of the theater at intermission that the area was wet, and when he returned 15 minutes later, he slipped and fell in the same area..."

The case is Sada v August Wilson Theater, 2016 NY Slip Op 05024 [140 AD3d 574] (Appellate Division, First Department June 23, 2016).

#slipandfall #NewYorkCitySlipandFall

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