Case: Slip-and-fall due to tracked in water case dismissed by the Southern District of New York
Counsel: Alice Spitz; Mary B. Dolan Roche
Result: Case Dismissed
Upon entering the defendant’s store, the plaintiff passed through approximately seven feet of non-slip floor covering and about 17 feet of carpeting. Nevertheless, plaintiff slipped when she stepped off the carpet and fractured her left hip. Because a significant amount of snow had accumulated outside the store’s entrance from a snowstorm that struck New York City the day before, a yellow caution sign was placed at the edge of the carpeting. Video surveillance of the entrance showed 28 individuals passing through the entrance without falling in the 20 minutes prior to plaintiff’s fall. The plaintiff admitted that she observed the caution sign upon entering the store. The defense claimed that the video was dispositive in demonstrating that the defendant lacked notice of the condition and that the condition was likely created either moments before the plaintiff’s fall or by the plaintiff herself. Plaintiff claimed the defendant had notice because the video captured an individual briefly sliding on the tile floor before plaintiff’s fall.
The Southern District Judge awarded Summary Judgment to the defendant. The Court held that plaintiff failed to provide evidence demonstrating that the defendant breached a duty of care by either creating or having legally sufficient notice of the alleged dangerous condition. The court deemed the plaintiff’s claim regarding notice as purely speculative. Additionally, the Court acknowledged that the defendant had no duty to continuously monitor the floors following the storm.
Read the decision here.