The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined defendant-cemetery had demonstrated it did not have notice of the depression or hole plaintiff stepped in. The area was covered with grass and appeared to be level:
As alleged by the plaintiff, she was visiting the graves of her family members and was walking behind her father when she took a step near one of the headstones and her left foot began to sink into the ground. The spot where her foot sank into the ground was covered with grass, and it appeared to be level. According to the plaintiff, her father had stepped in the exact spot seconds before her accident without incident. The plaintiff, and her husband suing derivatively, commenced this action against the defendants, and the defendants moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint. The Supreme Court denied the motion, and the defendants appeal.
In a premises liability case, a defendant who moves for summary judgment has the initial burden of making a prima facie showing that it neither created the allegedly dangerous or defective condition nor had actual or constructive notice of its existence… . To constitute constructive notice, a dangerous condition “must be visible and apparent and it must exist for a sufficient length of time prior to the accident to permit defendant’s employees to discover and remedy it” … .
Here, the defendants established their prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by demonstrating that they did not create or have actual or constructive notice of the subject dangerous condition before the incident occurred … . Carriero v St. Charles/ Resurrection Cemetery, 2017 NY Slip Op 09112, Second Dept 12-27-17
NEGLIGENCE (DEFENDANTS DID NOT HAVE NOTICE OF THE DEPRESSION OR HOLE PLAINTIFF STEPPED INTO, AREA WAS COVERED WITH GRASS AND APPEARED TO BE LEVEL, DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED (SECOND DEPT))/SLIP AND FALL (DEFENDANTS DID NOT HAVE NOTICE OF THE DEPRESSION OR HOLE PLAINTIFF STEPPED INTO, AREA WAS COVERED WITH GRASS AND APPEARED TO BE LEVEL, DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED (SECOND DEPT))