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Well Documented Inspection of Ice Free Condition Supports Summary Judgement for Landowner

Icy SIdewalkThe recent February 10, 2014 First Department decision of Acar v. Ecclesiastical Assistant Corporation, provided favorable law for landlords, maintenance companies and real estate management companies defending slip and fall on ice claims. The short one paragraph decision ruled that plaintiff’s expert meteorologist was speculative and this insufficient to defeat defendants summary judgment motion, due to testimony by defendant’s maintenance supervisor that, shortly before plaintiff’s fall, he had inspected the subject area and observed that it was free of ice. The court further ruled that even if snow removal is incomplete, summary judgment is warranted when it did not exacerbate any hazardous conditions on the premises.

 This decision provides protection to those charged with property safety, but also demonstrates the benefits of well-documented inspections to defeat litigation arising from allegedly hazardous conditions on the property.

By Dylan C. Braverman, Esq.
Senior Counsel
dcbraverman@lewisjohs.com

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