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There’s S(no)w Proximate Cause (NY)

February 7, 2018

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In <em><a href="">Tchouke, et al. v. The City of New York and Montefiore Medical Center</a></em>, the Appellate Division, First Department, upheld a Supreme Court decision dismissing plaintiff’s complaint against Montefiore Medical Center.
The plaintiff alleged that he was injured upon exiting his car when he slipped and fell on snow and ice alongside the sidewalk abutting Montefiore’s property.   Though the plaintiff claimed that Montefiore negligently failed to clear a path between the street and sidewalk, the court held that Montefiore’s conduct was not the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury.   Montefiore had no duty to place a path between the street and the sidewalk, not on hospital property, at the spot where plaintiff parked his car.
In reading through the decision, we were struck by the nonsensical nature of the claim, which plaintiff's counsel sought to pursue through motion practice and even appellate practice.   In light of recent decisions highlighting the high standard to obtain summary judgment, perhaps plaintiff's counsel felt this claim was worth a roll of the dice.  Thanks to Alicia Massidas for her contribution to this post.  Please email <a href="">Brian Gibbons</a> with any questions.


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