BLACK MARJIEH LEFF & SANFORD LLP

News and Insights

BMLS News and Insights

Attorneys Sheryl Sanford and Trisha Starkey Obtain Summary Judgment in Favor of Well-Known Fast Food Restaurant in Kings County Action

Attorneys Sheryl Sanford and Trisha Starkey successfully defended negligence claims against a well-known fast food restaurant in a matter where plaintiff claimed that she tripped and fell over a parking bumper in defendants’ parking lot. Sheryl and Trisha pointed out that the surveillance video and plaintiff’s own testimony made clear that plaintiff tripped over a parking bumper that was prominently located at the head of the parking space and was painted bright yellow in contrast to the black asphalt. Plaintiff alleged that the placement of the parking bumper and an adjacent car parked at an “odd” angle obscured her perception as to the location of the parking bumper and created a dangerous condition.

Sheryl and Trisha moved for summary judgment on the basis that: (1) defendants did not breach a duty of care to the plaintiff because the parking bumper/wheel stop on which plaintiff tripped was open and obvious to one using their senses and presented no unreasonable risk of harm; (2) defendants did not breach a duty of care to the plaintiff because the parking lot and vehicle did not create a hazardous condition and defendants have no control over other patrons who allegedly park their cars in a crooked manner; (3) defendants did not have actual or constructive notice of any alleged dangerous condition; and (4) defendants did not breach a statutory duty of care towards plaintiff. Following Trisha’s compelling oral argument, the justice dismissed the case from the bench. The judge agreed that the defendants made a prima facie showing of entitlement to summary judgment on the grounds that the parking bumper is not inherently dangerous as a matter of law and is open and obvious. As such, Sheryl and Trisha’s motion for summary judgment was granted and plaintiff’s case was dismissed in its entirety.

Marnie Piazza