Decisions of Interest

Samuel v. Riverbay Corp., et al

Supreme Court, Bronx County, Index No. 17556/04

In a premises liability case involving a 50 year old female plaintiff who slipped and fell on “black” ice located on the public sidewalk adjacent to her apartment building,
Malapero & Prisco successfully defended the adjoining property owner and received a defense verdict on February 17, 2012.

While an adjoining land owner has a general duty of care to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition under the prevailing circumstances, a plaintiff must prove that
the owner had actual or constructive notice of the icy condition on the sidewalk and failed to remedy it within a reasonable period of time. After formulating and presenting a defense that included investigation of weather conditions, proof of the existence of an easement granted to the City for the purpose of maintaining all municipal facilities, and other crucial evidence and testimony, a jury in Bronx County, historically known as a high value plaintiff-oriented county, returned a defense verdict after only an hour and five minutes of deliberation. The jury determined that the icy condition had not existed for long enough that the owner should have known of it and remedied it in the exercise of reasonable care.