The Second Department determined the defect which caused plaintiff’s slip and fall was trivial as a matter of law:
The plaintiff testified that he stopped by one of the benches and when he started to walk away, “[his] foot got caught under the bench leg.” The plaintiff further testified that he returned to the site of the accident later that day and observed that the bench leg, which had allegedly caught his foot, was bent and protruding outward approximately two inches into the pedestrian walkway. The plaintiff, who had frequented that mall more than 100 times and had previously been to the area of the mall where the accident had occurred, had never noticed the bent bench leg. No one, including the plaintiff, had ever complained about the bent bench leg to the defendants. Nor had any prior accidents involving the bent bench leg been reported to the defendants. The plaintiff’s engineering expert opined that the defendants were negligent in permitting the bench leg to protrude into the pedestrian walkway so as to create a tripping hazard. * * *
“[A] property owner 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” … . Photographs which fairly and accurately represent the accident site may be used to establish whether a defect is trivial and not actionable … .
Here, the evidence that the defendants submitted in support of their motion, including several photographs of the alleged defect, established prima facie that, as a matter of law, under all the circumstances, including the lighting conditions at the time of the accident, the plaintiff’s unobstructed view of the alleged defect, and the condition and location of the bench leg, the alleged defect was trivial and, therefore, not actionable … . Reich v Alexander’s, Inc., 2020 NY Slip Op 02486, Second Dept 4-29-20