The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined plaintiff did not know the cause of her staircase fall. The fact that there was only one handrail, which did not violate any statute or code provision, was not tied to the fall:
… [E]ven if a plaintiff’s fall is precipitated by a misstep, where the plaintiff testifies that he or she reached out to try to stop his or her fall, the absence of a handrail, if required by law, may raise an issue of fact as to whether the absence of the handrail was a proximate cause of his or her injury” … .
… [T]he plaintiff did not know what had caused her to fall … . … [T]he building was not subject to the particular code provisions relied upon by the plaintiff … .. … [T]he plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether there was an applicable statutory or code provision that required a second handrail on the staircase. The plaintiff also failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether the defendant breached her common-law duty to maintain the staircase in a reasonably safe condition by failing to install a second handrail … . Mancini v Nicoletta, 2022 NY Slip Op 04961, Second Dept 8-17-22
Practice Point: Here the plaintiff did not know the cause of her staircase fall. There was one handrail. There was no code provision or statute requiring a second handrail. Defendant was entitled to summary judgment.