In Slates v. New York City Housing Authority, the defendants moved to dismiss the plaintiff's claims that she suffered serious personal injuries as the result of her slip and fall on their steps, which were covered with black ice. As noted in our prior article, "Why Many Slip and Fall On Snow & Ice Cases Fail in New York's Courts," it is often extremely difficult to defeat these motions, particularly because the defendants have a fairly long amount of time from the end of a storm to remove the snow and ice.

But this plaintiff was extremely fortunate.

Her lawyer was able to elicit testimony from another tenant - who happened to be one of the defendants' employees - that she had noticed the area was very slippery (and had in fact slipped there herself) several hours before the plaintiff's accident occurred. Consequently, the Court held that the jury must be allowed to consider whether the defendant was negligent in failing to remedy the condition which caused plaintiff's fall.

Sometimes, I guess it's better to be lucky than good.

Jonathan Cooper
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Non-Compete, Trade Secret and School Negligence Lawyer
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