7/29/2021- Associate Deirdre Egan Wins Summary Judgment Dismissing All Claims
MMG Associate, Deirdre Egan, won summary judgement dismissing all claims against MMG client- Defendant JST Contracting Corporation in the case Alma Alequin v. 755 Co-op City, LLC, Index number 304011/216E.
Plaintiff, a pedestrian, alleges that she was injured when she slipped and fell on snow and ice caused by the negligence of the Defendant Owner 755 Co-Op City, Defendant Managing Agent Triangle Equities and snow removal contractor and MMG client- Defendant JST Contracting, Corp.
MMG filed for summary judgment arguing that its client JST was not hired by neighboring property owner Peartree and thus was not contractually obligated to service the area where the alleged accident occurred; that JST did not owe plaintiff a duty of care; it was not the proximate cause of the accident and it neither created nor contributed to the alleged condition. In opposition plaintiff provided an expert affidavit opining that plaintiff slipped and fell within an easement area; that such easement area constitutes an interest in the property; that Defendant 755 Co-Op City had an interest in the property abutting the sidewalk and thus had an obligation to keep it free and clear of obstruction; that given JSTs contracting obligation to clear the sidewalks around the property’s perimeter “it is more than likely than not that [it] would also clear the sidewalk by its easement”. Plaintiff further provided an affidavit from an investigator indicating that he observed the area being plowed much after the accident and took photographs of the tracks on the ground. The plaintiff then provided a supplemental affidavit, long after EBT stating that the tracks in the photographs taken by the investigator are just like the one she saw that caused her to fall on the day of the alleged accident.
The Court found JST has established that it was not responsible for snow removal, whether by shovel or by truck, beyond its co-defendants property line and that even assuming the plaintiff was caused to slip due to an icy truck tire groove and fall within the defendants easement area, the defendants as easement holder or servient owners, bear no obligation or duty to maintain the sidewalk abutting the easement. Accordingly, all claims were dismissed.