This past week, Wade Clark Mulcahy was victorious in its motion for summary judgment, absolving two homeowners of exposure in a sidewalk trip and fall case. Brian Gibbons and Chris Gioia prepared the motion, and Chris argued the motion before Hon. Ernest F. Hart of Queens County Supreme Court.
In, Calle-Gonzalez v. Borukhov, the Court ruled that our clients, homeowners in Queens, were entitled to summary judgment for a trip and fall which occurred on the sidewalk in front of their single family home. Under New York City Administrative Code’s Section 7-210, liability for sidewalk defects is placed upon owners of the adjacent property. However, Section 7-210 also provides for an exception of one-two or three family homes.
Judge Hart ruled that we demonstrated that unit was a single family, owner-occupied dwelling. Additionally, the Court found that the owners had not made negligent repairs, nor had they utilized the sidewalk for a ‘special use’, two exceptions which would deny summary judgment. Plaintiff’s claims will continue against the City of New York, and will focus on the issue of notice. But, barring any appellate practice, our clients are out of this case permanently.
The tricky aspect of motions like this one involves plugging up any potential holes that could create a “triable issue of fact,” which could prompt SJ denial. At argument, Chris Gioia left no doubt that our clients were not liable here, and the Court agreed. Please email Brian Gibbons with any questions, or contact me on Twitter @bgibbons35.