Under the Facts, a Stairwell Partially Covered by a Piece of Wood Was Not an Unreasonably Dangerous Condition
The Second Department determined that a stairwell leading to the basement of defendant’s restaurant, which was partially covered by a piece of wood, did not constitute an unreasonably dangerous condition. Plaintiff fell down the stairwell after leaving a nearby bar by the back door and climbing over a fence:
A landowner has a duty to maintain his or her premises in a reasonably safe condition to prevent foreseeable injuries … . The scope of such duty is determined in view of all the circumstances, including the likelihood of injury to others, the seriousness of the injury, and the burden of avoiding the risk … . “Absent a hazardous condition or other circumstance giving rise to an obligation to provide exterior lighting for a particular area, landowners are generally not required to illuminate their property during all hours of darkness’”… .
[Defendant] submitted evidence demonstrating that it was not aware of any other prior similar incidents or injuries on its premises and that there was no access between the rear of its premises and the rear portions of the stores situated to the west of it, which included the subject bar. Additionally, [defendant’s] submissions demonstrated that the restaurant was closed at the time of the incident, that the back door of the restaurant was locked, and that none of [defendant’s] employees was at the premises. Thus, [defendant] established, prima facie, that under the circumstances of this case, the basement stairwell partially covered by a piece of wood did not constitute an unreasonably dangerous condition … . In opposition, the plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact. Assefa v Bam, 2013 NY Slip Op 08220, 2nd Dept 12-11-13