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New York Supreme Court Rules Defendant Must Have Notice of Defect in Slip and Fall


The plaintiff in this case is Susan Antenozzi. The defendant of the case is the Village of Spencerport. The case is being heard in the Supreme Court located in Monroe County. The defendant has submitted a motion seeking summary judgment in this case to dismiss the complaint made by the plaintiff in its entirety. The plaintiff’s complaint alleges personal injuries from a trip and fall accident on a tree well cover that was broken.

Case Facts

The plaintiff, Susan Antenozzi, began an action to recover for personal injuries that she sustained from an accident that occurred on the 28th of June, 2008 in the Village of Spencerport, New York. The location of the alleged accident was 129 South Union Street.

The plaintiff tripped and fell as a result of a broken tree well grating that surrounded a tree located on the sidewalk. The plaintiff states that she was walking down South Union Street when she stepped on a cracked rubber or plastic grate that was located at the base of a tree on South Union Street and this caused her to trip and fall.

A notice of claim along with photographic evidence was served on the 11th of August, 2008.

Summary Judgment

The Village is seeking summary judgment in this matter to have the complaint made by the plaintiff dismissed in its entirety. The ground for summary judgment is based on the fact that the Village had not received any notice of the defective tree grating prior to the accident. In order to maintain an action against the Village written notice of the defective condition must be given to the Village Clerk.

The Village has its own city laws in regard to matters such as this. One of the city laws states that no civil action can be maintained against the village for damages or injuries to a person or property unless written notice of the defective or unsafe condition has been provided to the Village clerk and there was failure or neglect within a reasonable amount of time to repair or remove the defect.

Case Discussion

The Village has provided evidence showing that there had been no written notice provided about the defect prior to the 28th of June, 2008. The Village Clerk did not receive any type of notice that there was an issue with the grate that the plaintiff allegedly tripped over, causing her to injure herself. With this evidence the defendant has met the burden for summary judgment.

The plaintiff now has the burden to offer evidence that is sufficient to establish that there is an issue of fact in the case that would require a trial. The plaintiff has not offered any evidence to try and show that written notification about the defect had been supplied to the clerk.


In order for the plaintiff to maintain an action for injuries sustained by a defect in the grating, proof must be provided that the Village had written notice of the defect.

The defendant has provided prima facie in the case that is sufficient to support their motion for summary judgment. The court rules in favor of the defendant and summary judgment is granted. The complaint by the plaintiff is dismissed in its entirety.

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