The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment in this slip and fall case was not premature and should have been granted. There was video evidence and photographs depicting an unlawfully disconnected drain pipe which was the source of the ice on the sidewalk:
“Although determination of a summary judgment motion may be delayed to allow for further discovery where evidence necessary to oppose the motion is unavailable to the opponent of the motion (see CPLR 3212[f]), ‘[a] determination of summary judgment cannot be avoided by a claimed need for discovery unless some evidentiary basis is offered to suggest that discovery may lead to relevant evidence'” … . …
… [W]here the icy condition on the sidewalk as well as Sloan’s fall are clearly depicted on a surveillance video and the condition of the drain pipe over time is revealed in photographs of the building, the defendants have offered nothing more than hope and speculation that additional discovery might uncover evidence sufficient to raise triable issues of fact regarding the manner in which the accident occurred, the cause of [plaintiff’s] fall, and their notice of the defective condition of the drain pipe … . Sloan v 216 Bedford Kings Corp., 2022 NY Slip Op 05173, Second Dept 9-14-22
Practice Point: Where plaintiff makes out a prima facie case and the defendant doesn’t raise a question of fact, defendant’s mere hope that discovery will provide evidence to defeat plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment is not enough to support denial of the motion aa premature.