Slip/Fall Case Dismissed; No Duty to Correct Pedestrian-Tracked Water; No Notice of Urine

A recent First Department decision, Rosario v. Prana Nine Props., LLC, 2016 NY Slip Op 06431 (Oct. 4, 2016), upheld the lower court’s dismissal of plaintiff’s personal injury slip-and-fall case.

The court summarized the law as follows:

A defendant who moves for summary judgment in a slip and fall case has the initial burden of making a prima facie showing that it neither created nor had actual or constructive notice of the unsafe condition. Once that showing is made, the burden shifts to plaintiff to raise a triable issue of fact as to the creation of the defect or notice of it. A landowner’s duty to take reasonable measures to remedy a dangerous condition caused by a storm is suspended while the storm is in progress and does not commence until a reasonable time after the storm has ended.

Applying the law, the court dismissed plaintiff’s snow-based claim: “[P]laintiff testified that ten or fifteen minutes before her first accident, she saw that it was snowing. Thus, any issue concerning whether defendants made reasonable efforts to remedy the wet condition on the steps of the entry vestibule was beside the point since they had no duty to correct the ongoing problem of pedestrians tracking water into the vestibule, until a reasonable time after the storm ended.”

With respect to plaintiff’s second accident, the court held that the lower court “properly concluded that defendants demonstrated prima facie the absence of actual or constructive knowledge of urine on the second floor platform based on the testimony of the superintendent that he inspected daily, mopped three times a week, and swept the stairs every day”, further noting that “[p]laintiff also testified that she did not see the urine on the afternoon before her 6:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. accident, and was unaware of any complaints of a recurring moisture condition on the platform.”

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