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A Staircase Lobby Does Not Necessarily Need a Handrail

May 28, 2010

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In Remes v. 513 W. 26th Realty, LLC, the plaintiff was injured when she took a step backward and fell down two steps from the defendant's lobby into a smaller room where mailboxes were located. The staircase did not have a handrail. The court held that the owner made a prima facie showing that the stairway area did not constitute a hazardous condition. The plaintiff countered that the Administrative Code requires handrails on all interior stairs that serve as an exit to the building. This argument failed because the court found that the subject stairs did not serve as an exit. Thus, photographs of the staircase, coupled with deposition testimony that establishes (1) no prior similar incidents had occurred; and (2) lights illuminated the stairs is sufficient to establish entitlement to summary judgment.
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Posted by Bill Kirrane.


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