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NY App. Div. Holds No Duty Equals No Causation Which Equals No Liability

March 5, 2010

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In <i>Salvador v. New York Botanical Garden</i>, the plaintiff alleged injuries after she collided with a telephone booth that was located in a hallway inside of the New York Botanical Garden. Verizon had installed the telephone, but not the booth itself. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants were negligent in maintaining and creating a dangerous condition based on the placement of the booth. Verizon moved for summary judgment arguing that the booth was an open and obvious condition and that they did not install it. The lower court denied the motion, but the First Department reversed that decision, noting that Verizon neither installed the telephone booth nor maintained the premises and its surrounding lighting. In doing so, the court upheld the long-standing principle that without a duty owed, there can be no causation and no liability.
Thanks to Lora Gleicher for her contribution to this post.
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