CONFLICTING EVIDENCE OF THE WEATHER AT THE TIME OF THE ICE SLIP AND FALL PRECLUDED SUMMARY JUDGMENT BASED ON THE STORM-IN-PROGRESS RULE; IN ADDITION, THERE WAS EVIDENCE THE ICE WAS THERE FOR SOME TIME BEFORE THE FALL AND DEFENDANTS DID NOT DEMONSTRATE THEY LACKED ACTUAL OR CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF IT; DEFENDANTS’ SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTION SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN GRANTED (SECOND DEPT).
The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined defendants’ motion for summary judgment in this ice slip and fall case should not have been granted: There was conflicting evidence about the weather at the time of the accident, so the storm-in-progress defense was not established. There was evidence the ice was on the sidewalk for some time before the accident and defendants did not demonstrate they lacked actual or constructive notice of the condition:
Contrary to the Supreme Court’s determination, the defendants failed to demonstrate their prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law dismissing the complaint based on the storm in progress rule. The defendants submitted transcripts of the deposition testimony of the plaintiffs and the defendants’ representatives, who gave conflicting testimony as to the weather conditions at the approximate time of the accident … . In addition, the defendants’ submissions failed to eliminate all triable issues of fact as to whether the ice upon which the injured plaintiff slipped existed prior to the day of the accident and whether the defendants lacked actual or constructive notice of a preexisting condition… . Licari v Brookside Meadows, LLC, 2023 NY Slip Op 01284, Second Dept 3-15-23
Practice Point: In an ice slip and fall, conflicting evidence of the weather at the time of the fall will not support the storm-in-progress defense at the summary judgment stage. In addition, here there was evidence the ice was there for some time before the fall and defendants did not demonstrate the lacked actual or constructive notice of it. The defendants’ motion for summary judgment should not have been granted.
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