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Suffolk County Court Addresses Premises Liability in Slip and Fall Case


Janet Chiocchi and Anthony Chiocchi are the plaintiffs in this case. The Cat Lounge Inc. d/b/a Cat’s Meow is the defendants in the case. This case is being heard in the Suffolk County Court. The plaintiff commenced this action by a summons and complaint that was filed on the 7th of August, 2007.

Case Background

The plaintiff claims that she fell when she was dancing on the premises owned by the defendant. She states that her sandal got stuck to tape that was covering the wires on the ground and this caused her to fall. The defendant denied the allegations in an answer that is dated the 13th of November, 2003. The action was then transferred to this court on the 30th of March, 2011.

Case Facts

The plaintiff had been to the Cat’s Meow Lounge once previously. On the 14th of June, 2003, she went to the lounge with her husband at around 9:30 p.m. They went to listen to a band that had members that the couple knew. The plaintiff had dinner before she arrived at the establishment, but denies having any alcohol. When they arrived the band was set up, but they had not started playing. The plaintiff states that she had one cosmopolitan before the accident and had ordered a second that she had not started drinking prior to the accident.

The plaintiff was listening to the band and dancing in place. She was wearing an open toed sandal that had a small heel. She states that she felt something stick to the bottom of her sandal while she was dancing. She lifted her leg, which caused her foot to come out of the sandal and this caused her to fall. When she fell she saw gray tape on the floor that had been used to cover up the wires that were on the floor.

The lounge is now closed. The owner of the club states that she was not at the club the night of the accident. She states that her employees were responsible for inspecting and opening the lounge.

Case Discussion and Decision

In a case such as this the plaintiff must prove that the defendant had created the alleged hazardous condition that caused the accident to occur. In this particular case, the plaintiff has failed to do so. The plaintiff attempted to refer to another fall that occurred at the club two months prior as a way to prove there was an ongoing and dangerous condition. However, the court finds this argument to be without merit because of the lapse of time between the two events.

As the plaintiff has failed to establish proof that the condition was created by the defendant, the court is ordering the complaint to be dismissed.

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