In Jangana v. Nicole Equities LLC (App. Div. 1st Dept. Apr. 9, 2015), a trip-and-fall case, the Appellate Division, First Department rejected the defendants’ argument that the alleged injury-causing defective condition – here, a moving carpet – was “trivial” as a matter of law.
The court explained:
Summary judgment was properly denied in this action where plaintiff alleges that he was injured when, while making a delivery to a tenant in defendants’ building, he tripped over mislaid or raised carpeting on the staircase of the building. The evidence demonstrates that triable issues exist as to whether defendants had constructive notice of the defective condition. Plaintiff testified that he noticed the condition of the carpet when making deliveries to the premises on prior occasions. In addition, defendants’ own expert stated that the carpet in question would move three-eighths of an inch upon an application of 25 pounds of horizontal force. Contrary to defendants’ contention that any defect in the carpet was trivial, whether a defective condition, here, the movement of the carpet, exists so as to create liability depends on the peculiar facts and circumstances of each case and is generally a question of fact for the jury.