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Even Trivial Defects are Hazardous When They are “Trap-Like.”

August 12, 2013

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In <i><a href="http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=14707781652198325119&amp;q=Shane+v.+Supernova+New+York+Realty+LLC&amp;hl=en&amp;as_sdt=2,33&amp;as_vis=1">Shane v. Supernova New York Realty LLC</a>, </i>plaintiff tripped and fell on a step when his boot got caught in a space where two pieces of granite joined to form the step.  The two pieces of granite had a height differential of approximately one-half inch.  Defendant moved for summary judgment arguing that the defect was trivial.  In opposition, plaintiff submitted an affidavit from a human factors expert that stated that the defect was the type that could cause a person to catch his shoe.  That coupled with the fact that it was located in a heavily trafficked area that was not well-lit, caused the defect to become a “trap.”  The court held that the half inch height differential was “trivial” as a matter of law, however since the defect had characteristics rendering it “trap-like,” summary judgment was denied.
For questions about this post, please email <a href="cfuchs@wcmlaw.com">cfuchs@wcmlaw.com</a>.
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