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City Argues They Aren’t Liable in Sidewalk Slip and Fall Case, NY Supreme Court Decides


Barbara Amon is the plaintiff in this case. The defendants in the case are the City of New York, Angelo Messana, and Connie Messana. The case is being heard in the Supreme Court in Richmond County. The defendants in the case have moved for an order to grant a summary judgment to dismiss the case against them. They state that they are not liable for the personal injuries sustained by the plaintiff when she slipped and fell on their property.

Case Facts

The plaintiff is seeking recovery for personal injuries she sustained when she slipped and fell on the cracked pavement located at the front of the defendant’s residence. The crack in question is located on the public sidewalk located in front of the home of the defendants. The crack was around two or four inches from the manhole covers and was raised around one to two inches above the adjoining manhole cover.

The City of New York is governed by the Administrative Code of the City of New York which states that the city will not be liable for any personal injury caused by failure to maintain sidewalks. For this reason, the claim that was brought against the City of New York has been resolved.

Case Discussion

The defendants are seeking a summary judgment to have the complaint made by the plaintiff dismissed. In order for a summary judgment to be awarded, all of the papers and the proof submitted to the court must establish sufficient proof that directing the judgment in favor of any party is warranted.

The main argument of the defendants in the case is the fact that prima facie cannot be established by the plaintiff to show that the defendants created the condition that caused the accident or that they had notice of the condition. They further argue that there is insufficient evidence provided by the plaintiff to support the claim.

The plaintiff states that the defendants have special use of the subject sidewalk as the only way to get in and out of their driveway. Additionally, liability for a dangerous or defective condition on property is generally predicated upon ownership or control or special use of said property.

Case Decision

A motion for summary judgment must be denied in any case where there are facts that are sufficient to require a trial of any issue. There must be a total absence of disputed facts in order for summary judgment to be awarded in any case.

In this case there is the dispute of the fact as to whether the cracked pavement is part of the defendant’s property and whether they are liable for the injuries the plaintiff sustained because of these cracks. This leaves a triable issue of fact and therefore summary judgment cannot be granted. The motion by the defendants is denied.

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