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A Tree Falls in Orange County, Does it Make a Sound (of Liability) (NY)

December 11, 2020

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<p style="text-align: justify;">In <em><a href="">Pozzani</a> v. Village of S. Blooming,</em> the plaintiff was driving through the Village when a tree fell on her car. Plaintiff sustained injuries, and sued the Village. There was no evidence that the Village knew that the tree was in an unsafe condition before the accident. The Village moved for summary judgment, arguing that it had no actual or constructive notice that the tree was in a dangerous condition.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The Second Department agreed that the Village did not have actual or constructive notice of the alleged dangerous condition of the subject tree (see<em> Ivancic v Olmstead,</em> 66 NY2d 349 (Ct. of Appeals 1985); <em>Harris v Village of E. Hills</em>, 41 NY2d 446 (Ct. of Appeals 1977); <em>Figueroa-Corser v Town of Cortlandt</em>, 107 AD3d 755 (2d Dept. 2013). Plaintiff failed to put forth any evidence raising a triable issue of fact regarding notice.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">This case highlights the fact that the mere happening of an accident is not sufficient to impose liability on a defendant. Rather, the plaintiff bears the burden of establishing actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition.</p>
Thanks to Raymond Gonzalez for his contribution to this post. Please contact <a href="">Heather Aquino</a> with any questions.

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