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Surveillance Footage May Be Deemed Speculative For Showing Causation

January 13, 2023

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Generally speaking, in order to establish liability for a personal injury action, plaintiff must identify the cause of their injury without engaging in speculation. Courts oftentimes provide liberal application of this and will permit inferences from the facts of the underlying circumstances.  However, mere speculation as to the cause of a fall, when many causes present themselves, will not be sufficient.

In the matter <em><a href="">Cheprakova v. Medicine Plaza, Inc., et al.</a>,</em> 2002 N.Y. Slip Opp. 07434 (2d Dep’t Dec. 28, 2022) suit was brought to recover for injuries sustained in a slip and fall action when plaintiff slipped inside a pharmacy owned and operated by Defendant Medicine Plaza.  After discovery, Defendant Medicine Plaza argued plaintiff was unable to point to the cause of her fall and moved for summary judgment on the issue of liability.  The lower court and the Second Department agreed, and dismissed the claims against Defendant Medicine Plaza.  In support of its position, Defendant submitted the deposition transcript and asserted plaintiff did not know the cause of the fall.  Plaintiff presented an export report and surveillance footage of the accident.  Despite the court being under an obligation to view the evidence most favorable to the non-moving party, the court still determined that the surveillance footage was not sufficient to show <em>the cause</em> of her fall.

This court determined that evidence depicting the accident may not be sufficient in establishing the cause of the accident itself, which is a necessary step to recover on personal injury claims for premises liability.

Thanks to Chris Palmieri for his assistance with this post.  Should you have any questions, please contact <a href="">Tom Bracken</a>.


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