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Open and Obvious: Boxes and Personal Injury Trial

Supermarket Injuries and Store Personal Injury Cases. The Court here notes that "In this personal injury action, defendants move in motion sequence (mot. seq.) six for an order, pursuant to CPLR 3212, granting them summary judgment dismissing the complaint." The Court declines, there is an issue of material fact, and the New York Personal Injury Case must go to trial : Was there an open and obvious condition?

Personal injury cases take many forms and can occur nearly anywhere: slip and falls, scaffolding, etc. In this case "On May 13, 2018, at 3:15 p.m., plaintiff was shopping at defendants' store located at 1605 Avenue M, Brooklyn, New York when she alleges that she tripped and fell over a box of goods that employees had left in the aisle of the store as they were in the processing of stocking the shelves." The Court notes that the "reason for her fall was the defendant's negligent placement of the boxes on the floor in the aisle where customers would walk..." The issue becomes whether this constituted a hazardous premises condition, did the defendants know about this before the personal injury case accrued?

Summary judgment is a drastic remedy that deprives a litigant of his or her day in court and should, thus, only be employed when there is no doubt as to the absence of triable issues of material fact (Kolivas v Kirchoff, 14 AD3d 493 [2005]; see also Andre v Pomeroy, 35 NY2d 361, 364 [1974]). The proponent of a motion for summary judgment must make a prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment, as a matter of law, tendering sufficient evidence to demonstrate the absence of any material issues of fact (Manicone v City of New York, 75 AD3d 535, 537 [2010], quoting Alvarez, 68 NY2d at 324; see also Zuckerman v City of New York, 49 NY2d 557, 562 [1980]; Winegrad v New York Univ. Med. Ctr., 64 NY2d 851, 853 [1985]). If it is determined that the movant has made a prima facie showing of entitlement to summary judgment, the burden shifts to the opposing party to produce evidentiary proof in admissible form sufficient to establish the existence of material issues of fact which require a trial of the action (Garnham & Han Real Estate Brokers v Oppenheimer, 148 AD2d 493 [1989]).

The Court reviews the testimony adduced prior to trial in the form of personal injury depositions. The Personal Injury Examinations under Oath revealed that the Defendants received about 200 boxes a day, these boxes were unloaded regularly, and the store employees separate the goods into the respective aisles. There were no policies regarding the boxes. It seemed simply enough - should people know about personal injuries occasioned by the boxes - but the parties disagreed....

The case is HAREWOOD v. AMAZING SAY. OF AVE. M, LLC, 2021 NY Slip Op 31769 - NY: Supreme Court 2021. and the Court holds that "Whether the boxes in the store aisle created an inherently dangerous condition is a question of fact for the jury"

Cory H. Morris, Esq. New York and Florida, Injury, Addiction, Accident, Call the Law Offices of Cory H. Morris, 631-450-2515 (NYS) (954)-745-4592 (FLA)

Call 631-450-2515 or E-Mail to arrange for an evaluation of your traffic matter, criminal matter or appellate matter.


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