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NY's First Dept. Finds Lull in Snow May Defeat Storm in Progress Defense

January 25, 2010

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In Pipero v. New York City Transit Authority, plaintiff fell and injured himself on a snowy day in the city. Defendant tried to avoid liability by invoking the “Storm-In-Progress” doctrine to claim they had no duty to clear the snow until the cessation of the storm. Summary judgment was denied, and the Appellate Division, First Department affirmed the trial court’s denial.

Defendant produced weather reports showing that the storm was in progress for the entire day of the Plaintiff’s fall. However, the Plaintiff disputed the accuracy of the report by his testimony regarding a significant lull in the storm. The Courts found that this, and the question of the defendant's negligent maintenance provided triable issues of fact.

Thanks to Alison Weintraub for her contribution to this post.

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