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Plaintiffs File Action Against Starbucks for Slip and Fall


Caroline and James J. Heavey are the plaintiffs of the case. The defendants in the case are 148-154 Columbus Avenue Partners L.P., Lincoln Associates, Lincoln Triangle Partners, L.P., and Starbucks Coffee Company. The case is being heard in the Supreme Court of the State of New York located in New York County. Judge Joan A. Madden is hearing the case.

This is a personal injury action. The defendants Starbucks Company and their landlord Lincoln Triangle Partners, Lincoln Associates, and 148-154 Columbus Avenue Partners have moved for a summary judgment in the case to dismiss the complaint that has been bade against them by the plaintiffs Caroline Heavey and James J. Heavy.

Case Background

Caroline Heavey states that she was injured on the eleventh of October at around four in the afternoon at the Starbucks located on Columbus Avenue and 67th Street. The plaintiff fell inside the entrance of the location. The plaintiffs state that the reason for the fall was a dangerous condition of the entranceway of the location, specifically the lack of a mat in front of the door. Heavey states that there were not enough employees to ensure the floor in the area remained clean and the floor was slippery at the time of her fall.

During her deposition, Heavey testified that she fell upon entering the Starbucks. The weather on the day of the incident was nice; there was no rain or snow. She stated that all she remembers is that she put her foot inside the door and then fell down. Neither her nor her husband looked to see if there was any type of liquid on the floor.

J. Heavey testified that the floor looked uneven and slick, but he could not give a reason for the fall.

The manager of the Starbucks, Joshua Jennison testified in the case as well. He stated that there is a permanent mat in place in front of the entranceway of the Starbucks before January of 2003, but this mat was removed because it would get dirty from a buildup of snow and rain. This mat was removed in January of 2003 and tile was placed in the area as a test.

Starbucks has moved for summary judgment in the case based on the grounds that the plaintiffs cannot identify any defect on the floor of the premises that would have caused the plaintiff to fall. The defendants rely on the testimony given by the plaintiff that states she is unsure of what caused her to fall.

The plaintiffs oppose the summary judgment stating that there are triable issues in the matter including whether the absence of a mat at the entranceway and lack of employees caused the floor to become wet and slippery.

Case Discussion and Decision

In order for a summary judgment to be given in a matter there must be no triable issues of fact in the case. In this case, in order for Starbucks to be held liable there must be evidence provided to show that the defendants created the potentially hazardous condition or was sufficiently notified of the situation and failed to do anything about it.

After reviewing the facts in the case the plaintiff has failed to show reasonable triable issues in the matter. The motion for summary judgment is granted in favor of the defendants.

Stephen Bilkis & Associates offers free consultations for anyone in need of legal advice. If you have been injured in a fall and would like advice contact one of our offices in New York City to set up an appointment to discuss your case.

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