The First Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined there was a question of fact whether the condition of the sidewalk was a trivial defect in this slip and fall case. The edge of the sidewalk was raised less than an inch. But there was evidence the defendants themselves considered the condition of the sidewalk dangerous:
Defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that the condition was trivial, open and obvious, and not inherently dangerous. Defendants submitted an expert affidavit, photographs, and deposition testimony. The expert concluded that the height differential in the sidewalk caused by the raised flag ranged between 7/16 of an inch and 13/16 of an inch.
In opposition, plaintiff pointed to a map of the property, a budget report, her photographs, and deposition testimony. … Plaintiff noted that defendants’ maintenance manager had marked blue dots on a map during his inspection of the property months before her accident. The map appears to depict two blue dots in the vicinity of her fall. Plaintiff stressed that the maintenance manager testified that he marked the map with blue dots to indicate the areas where he expected that concrete repairs would be made. Plaintiff also pointed to the property’s budget report, which referred to, months before her fall, the “High” priority need to repair large deteriorated sections of “Concrete Walks and Curbs.” She further noted that some of her photographs depict a circle of white paint on the raised portion of the sidewalk, which she noticed immediately after her fall … . …
A finding that a condition is a trivial defect must “be based on all the specific facts and circumstances of the case, not size alone” … . The issue is generally a jury question because it is a fact-intensive inquiry … . McCabe v Avalon Bay Communities, Inc., 2019 NY Slip Op 08350, First Dept 11-19-19