Questions re Notice Result in Denial of Summary Judgment in Golf Path Trip/Fall Case

A recent Appellate Division decision, Valverde v. Great Expectations, LLC (decided March 31, 2015) is an example of a defense failure to make a prima facie showing to summary judgment in a personal injury premises liability case. The court affirmed the lower court’s denial of defendants’ motion, without considering plaintiff’s responsive papers.

From the opinion:

Defendants failed to make a prima facie showing that they neither created nor had actual or constructive notice of the alleged defective golf course path. In particular, defendants failed to submit evidence that they regularly inspected the accident location, that they received no complaints prior to the incident regarding the complained-of conditions, and that they had no similar accidents at the subject location. Third-party defendant’s employee’s testimony that he was not aware of any complaints from anyone about the condition of the golf course or its carts does not establish that defendants lacked notice, because he was not defendants’ employee at the time of the accident. Moreover, defendants’ employee never testified regarding whether defendants had received complaints about the accident location or as to when the accident location was last inspected. Defendants’ expert’s opinions regarding the condition of the path lack probative value, because he never stated when he inspected the accident location or that the property has remained in the same condition since the accident.

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