The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the defendant’s motion for summary judgment in this slip and fall case should not have been granted. The complaint alleged plaintiff’s decedent tripped over a raised portion of a sidewalk. The evidence included plaintiff’s decedent’s explanation of the cause of the fall as described by plaintiff-wife. Defendants argued plaintiffs could not prove the cause of the fall because decedent’s statements were inadmissible hearsay. The Second Department noted that hearsay is admissible in opposition to a summary judgment motion as long as it is not the only evidence. Here there was circumstantial evidence of the cause of the fall:
The defendants failed to establish their prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by eliminating all triable issues of fact. They failed to demonstrate that the cause of the decedent’s fall could not be established by admissible evidence, either direct or circumstantial … . While the defendants contend that the plaintiff’s deposition testimony as to what the decedent told her as to how the accident occurred constituted inadmissible hearsay, hearsay may be considered on a motion for summary judgment so long as the hearsay evidence is not the only evidence of a triable issue of fact … . The defendants’ submissions included the plaintiff’s own deposition testimony concerning her personal observations of the location of the accident shortly after the event and photographs of the claimed defect. Thus, the defendants failed to carry their burden of demonstrating that the plaintiff could not establish, through direct or circumstantial evidence, that the decedent tripped and fell as the result of a defect in the sidewalk.
Further, since the defendants failed to submit evidence as to when they last inspected the sidewalk, they failed to establish lack of constructive notice of the allegedly defective condition of the sidewalk … . Kontorinakis v 27-10 30th Realty, LLC, 2019 NY Slip Op 03579, Second Dept 5-8-19