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Plaintiff Cannot Rely on Speculation in NY

December 9, 2022

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<p style="text-align: justify;">In <em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="">Taitt</a> </span>v. Riehm Plumbing Corporation</em>, plaintiff slipped and fell on water that spilled out of a garbage bin positioned to catch a leak from a pipe in the ceiling of a basement storeroom. Defendants repaired the pipes of the ceiling in the basement corridor two months prior.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">New York Appellate Court reversed the lower court’s decision that denied defendant's summary judgment. The Appellate Court held that there was no issue of fact as plaintiffs were relying on speculation that the leaks in the basement storeroom were connected to the leaks in the basement corridor defendants worked on. The court also held that plaintiff cannot rely upon the doctrine of <em>res ipsa loquitur</em>, because plaintiff cannot establish that the pipes were within defendant’s exclusive control.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">This will raise the bar on oppositions to summary judgments, requiring more than mere speculation to create issues of fact.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Thanks to Jennifer Tuz for her contribution to this post. Please contact <a href="">Heather Aquino</a> with any questions.</p>

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