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New York Courts Allow Injured Woman to Continue Case Against Building Owner for Slip-and-Fall on Icy Sidewalk

Although it may be June, the inevitable fact is that the calendar will eventually turn to December and January, and, with it, New York will again be faced with snowy and icy weather. Along with those things will come dangerous icy sidewalks. When you are injured due to a snowy or icy sidewalk slip-and-fall, the issue of negligence may be straightforward. Someone was responsible for conducting snow and ice removal, someone allegedly did not perform the task properly, and, as a result, you slipped and fell and suffered harm. What may be more challenging, in some situations, is identifying the proper person or entity to sue. For advice and representation in undertaking all of these tasks, reach out to an experienced New York premises liability attorney about your case.

An example of all that goes into putting together a sidewalk slip-and-fall case was the lawsuit filed by Michelle, a Manhattan pedestrian. While walking along a sidewalk, Michelle slipped and fell on black ice near the corner of Second Avenue and 27th Street. The fall caused Michelle to suffer substantial injuries.

Michelle sued, asserting that negligent snow removal led to the formation of the dangerous black ice condition on the sidewalk. In Michelle’s situation, the exact location of her fall (near the corner of two streets) added an extra layer of possible complication. The building next to the sidewalk where Michelle got hurt was one with a mixture of business and residential tenants. The first-floor tenant was a major pharmacy. The pharmacy contended that the building owner was responsible for all snow and ice removal. If the pharmacy was right, the building owner would be the proper party for Michelle to sue. The owner, however, contended that it was only responsible for clearing 27th Street, while the pharmacy had the obligation to keep Second Avenue clear. If the owner was correct, the precise location of Michelle’s accident would be key to determining which entity was liable to her.

In situations like this, it may benefit you as the injured pedestrian to pursue both entities. That is what Michelle did, with the trial court ultimately permitting her to proceed against the building owner.

The owner appealed but lost. The owner attempted to argue that Michelle couldn’t possibly have a case because she failed to name the exact cause of her fall, but the Appellate Division rejected that argument. Michelle had presented to the trial court evidence that hers was an ice-related slip and fall. She had testified that she fell on a slippery surface. She also gave the court photographic proof that provided important strength to her case. The photos were taken just minutes after her slip and fall. The photos indicated that there were areas of ice caused by runoff melting snow. That evidence was enough to “raise an issue of fact” and allow Michelle to pursue the owner for negligence.

Michelle’s case points out how even a seemingly straightforward sidewalk slip-and-fall case can be complicated in terms of identifying the proper entity responsible for the sidewalk area in question. The case also serves as a reminder of how taking prompt action and collecting the right kind of proof (like photo evidence) can significantly enhance your case. Another thing that can strengthen your case is retaining skilled New York injury counsel right after your accident. For the advice and advocacy you need, retain the helpful Queens premises liability attorneys at Newman, Anzalone & Newman. Our team has been aiding injured people for nearly 40 years in pursuing a fair recovery for the harm they suffered. To put our experience to work for you, schedule a free consultation with one of our qualified attorneys. Contact us toll-free at 877-754-3099 or through our website.

More Blog Posts:

The Legal Concept of ‘Notice’ and What It Means to Winning Your New York Sidewalk Accident Case, New York Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, Feb. 13, 2018

When You Can Sue a Non-Commercial Property Owner in New York Over a Snowy/Icy Sidewalk, New York Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, May 25, 2017

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