Apartment Occupant Can Continue Case Arising Out of Slip-and-Fall On Water From Ceiling Leak

Plaintiff was injured when she slipped on an accumulation of water and fell in the bathroom of her apartment in defendants’ building.  The water that caused plaintiff’s fall came from a leak in the bathroom ceiling.

The trial court denied defendants’ motion for summary judgment, and the Appellate Division, First Department, affirmed.  The case is Hernandez v. 21 Realty Co., decided yesterday.

The court held that defendants were not entitled to summary judgment:

The record shows that issues exist as to whether defendants had notice of the leak in the ceiling. Defendants failed to demonstrate that they owed no duty to plaintiff. Moreover, the conflicting expert affidavits, as well as plaintiff’s deposition testimony as to the manner in which she fell, raise issues that are inappropriate for summary judgment.

The trial court also correctly held that issues remain as to the applicability of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, “including whether the leaking ceiling causing an accumulation of water on the bathroom floor was in the exclusive control of defendants.”

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