A finding that a defendant’s negligence, if any, proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries in a slip-and-fall case cannot be based on speculation. Thus, it is incumbent upon the plaintiff to provide competent proof as to what specifically caused the fall. Where the plaintiff cannot do so, as in the recent case of DiLorenzo v. S.I.J. Realty Co., LLC, such a failure resulted in another fall of sorts – that of the case falling out of the court system.
In DiLorenzo, the plaintiff thought that she fell because of a wet floor due to a recent cleaning. However, plaintiff did not know when the floor had most recently been cleaned and could not even verify whether the floor was actually wet when she fell. Thus, plaintiff’s arguments were based solely upon speculation. The Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed the trial court’s ruling that granted summary judgment in favor of the property owner and cleaning service, based on this fatal flaw.
Thanks to Johan Obregon for his contribution.