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NY Appellate Division Finds Single Step Riser Not Inherently Dangerous

December 2, 2009

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In Bretts v. Lincoln Plaza Associates, the plaintiff injured herself in Johnny’s Pizza when she allegedly tripped and fell over a single-step riser separating the workers' area and the patrons' area at premises owned by the defendant Lincoln Plaza Associates, Inc., and leased to the defendant Johnny's Pizza.
Johnny’s moved for summary judgment, which the lower court denied. On appeal, the Second Department determined that Johnny’s had made the requisite showing for summary judgment. There was a gold-color nosing on the step, and the pattern of the tiles on top of the step was different from the pattern of the tiles below the step. There was also a sign stating "Watch Your Step" adjacent to the step. Though, plaintiff testified she did not see the step or the sign before the accident, the Second Department held that the step was “open and obvious” and “not inherently dangerous.”
Thanks to Alison Weintraub for her contribution to this post.
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