The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the city’s motion for summary judgment in this slip and fall case should have been granted. Plaintiff’s affidavit in opposition directly contradicted his testimony at the General Municipal Law 50-h examination:
“[A] defendant who moves for summary judgment in a slip-and-fall case has the initial burden of making a prima facie showing, inter alia, that it did not create the alleged hazardous condition” … . Here, the defendant made a prima facie showing that it did not engage in any snow removal activity within the subject triangular area, and therefore was not responsible for creating the icy condition that caused the plaintiff to fall. In opposition to the defendant’s motion, the plaintiff submitted an affidavit in which he averred that, in the afternoon of the day before his accident, he “observed City personnel shoveling the snow from the [subject triangular area] and making piles of snow upon the perimeters.” Yet, at his examination pursuant to General Municipal Law § 50-h, the plaintiff had been asked “At any point between the snowfall and the morning before the accident happened, had you seen anyone clearing snow from that [triangular area],” and he had responded “No, no.” Since the assertion made for the first time in the plaintiff’s affidavit directly contradicted the testimony he had given at his General Municipal Law § 50-h examination, and he has not provided a plausible explanation for the inconsistency between the two statements, the assertion made in his affidavit must be viewed as presenting a feigned factual issue designed to avoid the consequences of his earlier testimony, and it is insufficient to raise a triable issue of fact … . Nass v City of New York, 2022 NY Slip Op 06132, Second Dept 11-2-22
Practice Point: Here the plaintiff’s 50-h examination testimony directly contradicted his affidavit opposing defendant’s motion for summary judgment. The “feigned issue of fact” did not raise a question of fact.