May 2013

The Appellate Division, First Department affirmed in its entirety the decision of Justice Lizbeth Gonzalez (Supreme Court, Bronx County) which granted our motion for summary judgment on an trip and fall accident.  Ellie S. Konstantatos successfully argued that the defendant established its entitlement to summary judgment based upon photographic and testimonial evidence establishing that the alleged condition, a vertical support of a bumper which ran along the base of a refrigerated display case, was open and obvious and not inherently dangerous.  Despite plaintiff’s argument that the condition was obscured from her view as she stood a few inches in front of the refrigerated display unit and her claim that she did not observe the condition, the Court held that the alleged condition was neither hidden or obscured. 


The Appellate Division, First Department affirmed in its entirety the decision of New York Court Supreme Court Justice Briganti-Hughes which granted our motion for summary judgment on an elevator accident claim.  Thomas B. Hayn successfully argued that plaintiff was barred from recovery from our client based on the Workers’ Compensation exclusivity defense by demonstrating that an actual employer-employee relationship existed between our client and plaintiff.  The court also agreed that plaintiff’s act of jumping from the stalled elevator was an unforeseeable, superseding cause of his own accident.

January 2013

In an action in which plaintiff claimed to have slipped and fell on a liquid detergent spill in the laundry detergent aisle of the defendant’s big box store, Justice Howard H. Sherman (Supreme Court, Bronx County) granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment, finding the defendant made a prima facie demonstration that it neither created the hazardous condition, nor had actual or constructive notice of its existence.  The Court relied upon the affidavit of defendant’s manager, attesting to an inspection performed ten minutes prior to the plaintiff’s incident, in holding that the liquid detergent spill at issue was visible and apparent and that it did not exist for a sufficient period of time to be discovered and remedied prior to the incident.

November 2012

Jury Finds Defective Condition, Awards No Damages:

In this personal injury/premises liability action, plaintiff claimed to have been thrown from his bicycle after riding over a one-inch deep pothole in defendant-supermarket’s parking lot, allegedly as a result of defendant’s failure to correct a defect in the parking lot. Plaintiff suffered a fractured ankle, requiring surgical open reduction. Litigating for defendant, Bruce Torino received a jury verdict that assigned 84% fault to the plaintiff and 16% fault to the defendant. Based on inconsistencies in the plaintiff’s medical records, it was argued that plaintiff actually fell in the street due to icy conditions entirely unrelated to the condition alleged to have existed in the supermarket parking lot. During cross-examination, Attorney Torino exploited weaknesses in the expert testimony offered by plaintiff’s engineer by introducing photographic and video evidence that a mountain bike should have easily passed over the one-inch deep divot, and eliciting the expert’s concession that no bicycle had been used in his testing of the condition. Plaintiff’s motion for a new trial was summarily denied.

August 2012

In an action in Supreme Court, Westchester County, involving a trip and fall at the sidewalk curb in front of defendant’s property, Justice Bruce E. Tolbert granted our motion for summary judgment.  The Court found that the defendant wholly established that the incline or curb ramp that existed at the location where plaintiff alleged to have fallen was well within the guidelines and codes required by law.  Further, the Court noted that the mere presence of a curb in front of the defendant’s premises does not establish the existence of a defective condition simply because an injury occurred to the plaintiff at that limited location.