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Home  >  Our Successes  >  Summary Judgment Granted to Driver of Car Hit in Rear with Passengers

Case: Defense Establishes Storm In Progress Rule to Win Summary Judgment

Counsel:  Salvatore J. DeSantis & Robert A. Von Hagen

Result: Summary Judgment Granted

MSD recently obtained summary judgment for the owner and managing agent of a large, mixed-use building in the Bronx where plaintiff claimed she slipped and fell on snow.  We submitted certified weather data from NOAA and the affidavit of an expert forensic meteorologist as well as the plaintiff’s own admissions about the characteristics of what caused her to slip thereby proving that a blizzard-like storm was occurring shortly before and during the plaintiff’s accident.  We argued that the ‘storm in progress’ doctrine suspended our client’s duty to keep the sidewalk free of snow and ice, and that plaintiff’s fall was caused solely due to fresh snow from the ongoing storm.   Plaintiff opposed our motion by arguing that a language barrier during her deposition created a misunderstanding between the Spanish words for ‘snow’ and ‘ice’, and asserted for the first time that she slipped on old ice, and not the products of the ongoing storm.  We countered by pointing out the multiple, specific questions posed during her deposition that undermined her argument and made it impossible that she had any such misunderstanding.  The Court agreed with the defense and dismissed the complaint