The long standing rule that a party cannot submit a self-serving affidavit nor allege a new theory of liability for the first time in opposition to a summary judgment motion was recently upheld in Nicholas v. New York City Housing Authority. In Nicholas, the plaintiff testified that he slipped on a wet condition located on a staircase owned by the NYCHA. NYCHA moved for summary judgment on the basis that it did not have actual or constructive notice of the condition. In opposition to the motion, the plaintiff submitted an affidavit alleging for the first time that he fell on a defective/broken stair. The lower court denied NYCHA’s motion, but the First Department reversed and dismissed the complaint based on the fact that the plaintiff tailored his affidavit to avoid the consequences of his deposition testimony.
Thanks to Lora Gleicher for her contribution to this post.