The First Department determined defendants, including defendant SSA, had made a prima facie showing of entitlement to summary judgment in this slip and fall case, but the plaintiff raised a question of fact whether an identified defect in the sidewalk caused her fall. The court noted that hearsay evidence supplied in opposition to the motion was properly considered because it was not the only evidence submitted in opposition. The case is a rare example of each side submitting evidence of all the required “slip and fall” elements:
Defendants made a prima showing of their entitlement to summary judgment, by submitting deposition testimony and an affidavit from SSA's managing member stating that SSA never did any work on the sidewalk where plaintiff fell, that he never received complaints about the sidewalk or curb prior to plaintiff's accident, and that he never observed the alleged hazardous curb and sidewalk condition while making his regular, twice-weekly inspections of the strip mall … .
In opposition, plaintiff raised triable issues of fact. Plaintiff testified that she fell when her left foot stepped into a hole-like depression in the curb/sidewalk, and she marked photographs to show where she fell. Plaintiff also submitted her daughter's affidavit, wherein she averred that after receiving a call about her mother's fall, she responded quickly to the scene of the accident and found her mother on the sidewalk. According to the daughter, her mother pointed to a broken and cracked curb/sidewalk condition and stated that the defective condition caused her to fall. This hearsay statement may be relied upon to defeat summary judgment where, as here, it is not the only evidence submitted in opposition to the motion … . The daughter added that the photographs taken of the sidewalk/curb seven months after the accident, and the area of the photographs her mother marked, accurately depicted the broken condition of the curb/sidewalk as it appeared on the date of the accident. The photographs show a broken curb/sidewalk. Taken together, the evidence raises triable issues of fact whether the broken sidewalk/curb caused plaintiff's fall, and whether the defective condition existed for a sufficient period of time prior to the accident for defendants to have discovered and remedied it … . Uncyk v Cedarhurst Prop. Mgt., LLC, 2016 NY Slip Op 02037, 1st Dept 3-22-16
NEGLIGENCE (HEARSAY OFFERED IN OPPOSITION TO SUMMARY JUDGMENT PROPERLY CONSIDERED)/EVIDENCE (HEARSAY OFFERED IN OPPOSITION TO SUMMARY JUDGMENT PROPERLY CONSIDERED) HEARSAY (HEARSAY OFFERED IN OPPOSITION TO SUMMARY JUDGMENT PROPERLY CONSIDERED)/SLIP AND FALL (ALL REQUIRED ELEMENTS OF SLIP AND FALL ADDRESSED BY BOTH SIDES IN SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTION)