The plaintiff in this case is Francis Trinidad. The defendant in the matter is the New York City Transit Authority. The case is being heard in the Supreme Court of New York in the State of New York, located in New York County.
The defendant in the case, New York City Transit Authority has moved for an order to grant a summary judgment dismissing the action made against them stating they are not negligent as a matter of law.
The plaintiff, Francis Trinidad was injured on the 27th of April, 2005 when he slipped on his right foot and fell when he entered the subway as he stepped onto the bottom step of the P4 stairway that is located at the 161st Street and Amsterdam Avenue C train subway station. As a result of the fall the plaintiff had to have a reconstructive operation on his right patella tendon.
The plaintiff stated during his testimony that it was drizzling on the day of the accident but the stairs were not wet. He states that when he put his right foot on the last step it was stuck in something and that is when he lost his balance. He testified that he could not unequivocally state that the crack in the step was what caused him to fall but ascertains that his right foot might have been stuck in the crack and resulted in him losing his balance and falling.
The New York City Transit Authority states that they are not negligent as a matter of law because the alleged defect that resulted in the plaintiff’s fall is trivial. The photographs provided as evidence show that the alleged defect is too small to be actionable.
Case Discussion and Decision
The defendant offers photographs as evidence showing that the crack in the step is insubstantial and could not have been the cause of the plaintiff’s fall. This evidence is not enough to support an order for summary judgment in the matter.
The court must look at other facts of the case to determine whether or not the complaint has merit. An expert witness was called to testify in the case. Mr. Fein is a professional engineer licensed in the state of New York. He performed an inspection of the stairway in question and concluded that the area of cement was worn and dilapidated. He notes that there was a second layer of concrete on the step as well. He states that the superficial fix that was made to the stairs was improper and caused a tripping and or slipping condition. He goes on to state that the stairs had not been properly maintained and the condition had existed for a sufficient amount of time prior to the accident.
When the facts of the case are reviewed, the court finds that there are several issues of fact that have not been addressed by the defendant. In this case, the defendant has not offered enough evidence to show that they properly maintained the stairs in question. For these reasons, the summary motion is denied.
At Stephen Bilkis & Associates we have a team of expert New York lawyers who can help you through any legal issue that you may have. If you are in need of legal advice contact one of our New York City offices. A free consultation is provided to each of our new clients when the visit our offices for the first time.