Defect Properly Deemed Trivial as a Matter of Law
The Second Department determined a 1/2 inch depression was properly deemed trivial as a matter of law:
Generally, the issue of whether a dangerous or defective condition exists depends on the facts of each case, and is a question of fact for the jury … . However, property owners may not be held liable for trivial defects, not constituting a trap or nuisance, over which a pedestrian might merely stumble, stub his or her toes, or trip … . In determining whether a defect is trivial as a matter of law, the court must examine all of the facts presented, “including the width, depth, elevation, irregularity and appearance of the defect along with the time, place and circumstance’ of the injury” … .
* * * The evidence submitted by the moving parties—including the plaintiff’s testimony describing the depression in the asphalt abutting the metal plate as being one-half inch deep—established that the alleged defect was trivial as a matter of law and did not possess the characteristics of a trap or nuisance, and therefore, was not actionable… . Palladino v City of New York, 2015 NY Slip Op 02737, 2nd Dept 4-1-15