New York Court Discusses Property Owner Liability for Dangerous Conditions

Winters in New York often result in a significant amount of snowfall, and snow and ice are common causes of slip and fall accidents. People hurt in falls caused by slippery conditions may be able to recover damages from the parties that own or maintain the property where they fell if they can establish liability. Recently, a New York court discussed fault in slip and fall cases in a case in which the plaintiff suffered injuries due to snow and ice on the defendants’ property. If you were hurt after you fell on snow or ice, you might have a valid claim for damages, and it is in your best interest to consult an experienced Buffalo personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

The Plaintiff’s Fall

It is reported that the plaintiff slipped and fell on ice and snow that was piled onto a concrete island in the middle of a parking lot in a shopping center. The plaintiff was attempting to cross the island to get to a restaurant when he fell. He filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendants, the property owner, management company, and snow removal contractor. The defendant owner and defendant property management company filed motions for summary judgment, in which they requested that the court dismiss the plaintiff’s claims. The court denied the motions, and the defendants appealed.

Liability in Slip and Fall Cases

A defendant moving for summary judgment in a slip and fall case must establish that the evidence, when taken at face value, shows that it did not create the dangerous condition that caused the plaintiff’s fall, nor did it have constructive or actual knowledge that the condition existed. A property owner does not have a duty to protect or warn people about conditions that are not obvious and open and not in and of themselves dangerous.

Subsequently, to obtain summary judgment on the grounds that there was no duty to warn, the defendant must show that the condition that caused the plaintiff to fall was not inherently unsafe and that it was open and obvious, as a matter of law. In such cases, the condition that caused the plaintiff’s harm cannot be attributed to negligent maintenance of the property.

In the subject case, the court found that the defendants failed to establish that they were not aware of the snow and ice on the concrete island or that it did not constitute an inherently dangerous condition. Thus, the trial court ruling was affirmed.

Meet with a Top Rated Buffalo Personal Injury Attorney

Inclement weather can cause slippery conditions, which in many instances lead to falls that cause significant injuries. If you were hurt in a slip and fall accident caused by snow and ice, it is smart to meet with a lawyer to discuss what claims you may be able to pursue. The compassionate personal injury attorneys at the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. possess the skills and resources needed to help you seek a favorable outcome, and if you hire us, we will advocate zealously on your behalf. You can reach us via our form online or at 716-839-3939 to set up your FREE consultation.

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