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Plaintff Sues Landscape Company in Trip and Fall, NY Appellate Court Denies Defendant’s Summary Judgment Motion


The court in this case has ordered that the motion for summary judgment is granted to the defendant landscape company. Therefore, the personal injury complaint of the plaintiff is dismissed against that particular defendant. The motion for summary judgment filed by the defendant board of managers has been denied by the court.

The plaintiff in this case has filed a complaint and sought damages for her sustained injuries due to a trip and fallaccident on the parking lot owned by the condominium complex. The plaintiff allegedly tripped over a tree stump located on the grassy portion of the parking lot. In her complaint, the plaintiff identifies the defendants concerned as failing to maintain and repair the defects of the premises. According to the plaintiff, she was injured because of the defendant’s negligence.

The court was presented with facts for review and finds these to be undisputed by any party. The defendant board of the condominium presented to the court a contract signed by the landscaping company. The contract contained provisions that the landscaping company has the responsibility to maintain the grounds including snow removal, cutting of grass and landscaping.

A New York Injury Lawyer said that according to the reports, the board of managers had ordered the landscaping company in 2006 to cut the bushes on the island located on the parking lot. The activity left tree stumps behind. The board of managers hired another company to replace the first one.

The first landscaping company, who was also named as one of the defendants of this case, has filed for a summary judgment and a dismissal of the complaint. The company contended that it is not liable to the plaintiff since its service contract came from the board of managers. The company should not be blamed for the creation of the defect or dangerous condition on the parking lot.

An NYC Personal Injury Lawyer said that before the trial, the plaintiff said that she and her daughter were residents of the condominium for many years now. On the night of her fall, she and her daughter were taking the dog for a walk. They had to go through a lot of islands on the parking lot in order to get to the walking area for dogs. While she was trying to cross another island, her foot tripped over a stump, causing her to fall.

In her statement, she also said that she had tripped over several stumps before her accident in the parking area. She did not remember if anything was blocking her view of the ground in that particular moment.

An NY Personal Injury Lawyer said on the part of the defendant landscape company, the court was presented with evidence that the company had not taken down the stumps on the island. Under the provisions of the contract, the landscape company was only tasked to perform landscaping services. It did not include any liability that would make it liable if there are personal injury claims from other parties.

The plaintiff challenged the landscape company because the company itself was aware of the existence of the stumps but did not do anything to remove them. In effect, the company created the defect or the dangerous condition on the parking lot. However, the plaintiff cannot prove that the company has the duty to remove the stumps.

Upon further review of the evidence and statements, the court has found that the defendant, the landscaping company, has failed to establish the conditions required by a summary judgment. Several questions are yet to be determined since it was not clear whether the landscape company performed its duties according to the contract. There was also the question of whether the company created the defect by cutting down the bushes and excluded the stumps.

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