Posted On: April 3, 2012 by Stephen Bilkis

According to the plaintiff, she sustained personal injuries

The defendants of this case had filed for a summary judgment requesting dismissal for the personal injury complaint of the plaintiffs. The defendants have further claimed that the plaintiffs had failed in establishing that the alleged cause of their trip and fall was a defect on the premises. The defendants also contested that the reason for the plaintiffs’ fall was a trivial matter.

According to the plaintiff, she sustained personal injuries because she tripped and fell on the sidewalk just outside of the popular fast food chain. The restaurant and the physical property were owned by the defendant.

The plaintiff said in her testimony that the weather conditions on the day of the accident were cold. She went on to say that there was no snowfall or ice on the ground. The plaintiff is a regular user of the sidewalk in question since she used that route when getting to and back from her job. According to the plaintiff, there was not much room to move around on the sidewalk. She couldn’t have avoided the accident that day. She allegedly tripped on the uneven part of the sidewalk fronting the defendant’s premises. She also added the sidewalk was not crowded during that time.

On the other hand, the defendant contends that the height difference of the sidewalk is a trivial matter when it comes to the provisions of the law. The matter was not established as to the alleged defect being considered dangerous.

The plaintiff presented in her deposition specific pictures of the scene and the conditions that caused her to trip. She also asserted that there were no objects on the sidewalk or any precipitation since the weather was only cloudy that day. The plaintiff only cited the sidewalk as the cause of her fall.

According the law, such defect on the sidewalk is trivial since it was not meant to be a trap. This trivial defect does not oblige the owner of the premises to act during instances that a pedestrian may happen to fall or stumble on uneven sidewalk.

The court has also found no evidence on the uneven sidewalk posing a threat by reason of its location. The sidewalk also does not pose a threat when there is a change in weather condition.

In summary of the plaintiff’s opposition to the defendant’s summary of judgment, the plaintiff asserted that the defendant was responsible for every part of its premises. She pointed out that the defendant had been using the sidewalk for its own special purposes. According to the plaintiff, the defendant had prior notice of such defect and failed to repair it. The defendant’s failure to repair the defect should be considered as negligence. The plaintiff also cited the provisions found on the administrative code since the code also debunks the trivial matter question.

According to the lease document of the defendant, there was a reference made regarding the condition of the sidewalk. The terms of the lease had included that the defendant was in-charge of repairing the said defect on the sidewalk. Yet, the defendant failed to repair it as provided by the terms of the lease.

However, the plaintiff in this case has not presented evidence that would constitute the sidewalk defect or uneven height differential as a trap or threat to pedestrian safety. The unevenness of the sidewalk was found to be only a trivial matter and does not hold the defendants liable for damages. Therefore, the court grants the summary of judgment as requested by both defendants – lessor of the property and the operator of the fast food chain. The personal injuries claim of the plaintiff is denied and the case dismissed.

Preparing for a personal injury case requires the expertise and training of a New York Trip and Fall Lawyer. If you want to have a legal consultation, contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates to get connected. The legal services of a New York Trip and Fall Attorney will increase your chances in court.
A New York Trip and Fall Attorney will be ready to listen and assist you in filing the lawsuit. If require an attorney, a New York Trip and Fall Lawyer is your best choice. Visit Stephen Bilkis & Associates at their downtown offices.