Stair Trip/Fall Case Continues

In¬†Laguerre v. Kessler, a premises liability/trip-and-fall case, the Appellate Division, Second Department affirmed the denial of defendant’s motion for summary judgment.

Initially, the court held that the “defendant¬†established his prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by submitting proof that there was no defect in the subject carpeting, and that the carpeting was in good condition and was not worn, torn, or raised” and by testifying at his deposition “that there had not been any complaints with regard to the condition of the carpeting, and there had not been any prior accidents involving the carpeting.”

In response, however, “plaintiff raised a triable issue of fact as to whether the stairs were in a dangerous condition due to loose carpeting prior to her fall, and as to whether the defendant had notice of it.” ¬†Specifically, “[a]t her deposition, the plaintiff testified that as she was descending the stairs she held onto the handrail, and when she got to the third step from the top of the staircase the carpeting ‘mov[ed] under [her] feet,’ causing her to fall”. Plaintiff “also stated that she had complained “several” times about the loose carpeting to the defendant’s mother, who lived in the same house as the defendant.”

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