Piling Up The Slush Leads To Potential Negligence (NY)
In Berganzo v. Bronx Realty Group LLC, the Appellate Division, First Department addressed whether the defendant/property owner created an icy or slushy condition by improperly piling snow in the area where the incident occurred.
The case involved a personal injury action where the owners moved for summary judgment arguing that they did not have actual or constructive notice of the icy condition which caused the plaintiff’s alleged fall, and that the fall occurred while a storm was in progress. The plaintiff slipped on ice on the defendant’s property between 5:00 am and 6:00 am. The defendant’s argued that since it was raining at the time of the accident that they were relieved of their duty to keep the premises safe until the storm concluded.
The lower court denied the defendant’s summary judgment motion on the basis that issues of fact existed as to whether the property owners negligently caused the condition by piling snow in the area where the incident occurred. Specifically, one witness alleged that there was 3 to 4 inches of snow in the area of the incident in the days prior to the accident. The Appellate Division affirmed and held that issues of fact existed as to whether the defendant’s created the icy or slushy conditions.
This decision serves as a reminder for property owners that when piling snow on their property to be careful that it does not create a dangerous condition.
Thanks to Corey Morgenstern for his contribution to this post. Please email Georgia Coats with any questions.