Decision: Slip/Fall Case Survives Summary Judgment; No Evidence that Defendants Mopped on Day of Accident

In Brown v. Addison Hall Owners Corp., No. 16744, 2016 WL 237527 (N.Y. App. Div. Jan. 21, 2016), the Appellate Division, First Department affirmed the denial of summary judgment to defendants on plaintiff’s personal injury premises liability (slip/fall) claim.

From the decision:

In this action alleging a slip and fall on a wet floor inside defendants’ building shortly after it had been raining, triable issues of fact exist as to defendants’ claimed lack of notice and their precautions in light of the dangerous condition. Even though the building doorman testified that there was no wet condition when he left for lunch 40 minutes before the accident, the building’s either … negligent or willful failure to preserve the entire surveillance video of the area where plaintiff slipped and fell is sufficient under the circumstances of this case to defeat summary judgement at this time, with the specific spoliation sanction, if any, to be determined at trial. …

Although defendants were not required to mop continuously, and there was testimony that they usually mopped when it rained, there was no evidence that they mopped at all on the day of the accident. Furthermore, while defendants were not required to cover the entire floor with mats, under the facts of this case the gap between the mat and the stairs raised an issue of fact as to the adequacy of defendants’ precautions. (Emphasis added.)

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