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Defendants Seek Summary Judgement in Slip and Fall Case, New York Appellate Court Agrees


Kings County Personal Injury 122

The plaintiff in this case is Andrzej Drozdzal. The defendants in the case are Suzanne and Ruth Semel and Spoon Incorporated. The judge overseeing the case is Laura Lee Jacobson.

About the Case

A Manhattan Personal Injury Lawyer said the defendants of the case, Ruth Semel and Suzanne Semel are seeking a summary judgment to dismiss the complaint against them and all of the cross claims made against them by the plaintiff. The co-defendant of the case, Spoon Incorporated, is also seeking a summary judgment in the case to dismiss the claim and cross claims made against them by the plaintiff. The plaintiff, seeks a cross motion to amend his bill of particulars in the case.

Case History

The case is a personal injury action that stems from a slip and fall accident that happened on the first of November in 2005. The accident occurred at 5001 13th Avenue in Brooklyn, New York, where the plaintiff slipped and fell down a staircase located inside the Spoons Restaurant. The location was owned by the Semels at the time of the incident and occupied by the Spoons Restaurant through a lease agreement. The plaintiff worked for Ossie’s Fish Market and had the responsibility of delivering fish to the restaurant.

Plaintiff Argument

In the testimony submitted by the plaintiff, he states that he was delivering fish to the restaurant when he fell down the stairs that led to the basement. He also states that he noticed the steps were wet when he started down them, but at this point it was too late to stop. He proceeded to fall backwards and slide down the steps. A New York Injury Lawyer said he plaintiff claimed that there was a wet spot on the center of each step.

A Long Island Personal Injury Lawyer said in the cross motion of the plaintiff he states that after the findings by Ainso, an expert engineer, he should be allowed to amend his bill of particulars. The report filed by Ainso clearly shows that the stairs in question do not meet the New York City Building Code.

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Defendants Argument

The defendant, the Semels, motion for summary judgment is based on the fact that they are out of possession landlords and there is no evidence of a design defect or significant structural damage. The plaintiffs argue that it was a “wet and slippery” staircase that caused the plaintiff to fall according to his bill of particulars. The Semels also state that they did not know about the wet stairs and did not view the stairs prior to the fall.

Spoon Restaurant seeks a summary motion as well. Spoons declares that they had no notice of the defective condition and that they did not create the defective condition. They also claim that the claims made by the plaintive are merely speculative.

Case Results

In a slip and fall case the defendant must prove prima facie to the fact that they did not create the potentially hazardous situation. In this case, the defendants, the Semels, are out of possession landlords and because of this did not have notice of the situation. The motion for summary judgment is granted to the Semels.

In the case of Spoons Restaurant, the defendant cannot prove that the potentially hazardous situation was not created by one of their employees. For this reason, prima facie in the case is not met and the summary judgment is denied.

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