MDAFP Obtains Summary Judgment on Application of the Espinal Doctrine

In a recently issued decision, MDAFP’s Ira Goldstein was successful in obtaining summary judgment, where our client was found to have no liability for a plaintiff’s trip and fall over an expansion joint in a parking garage. We established through our motion that our client, which operated the parking garage through a contract with the LIRR, did not own the garage and was not responsible for structural repairs. The Court agreed that our client could not be responsible to the plaintiff by virtue of a contract with a different entity, and that none of the Espinal exceptions applied.


MDAFP Obtains Summary Judgment in Order that Expands the Scope of Prior Written Notice

In another recent decision, MDAFP’s Amanda Zefi, Esq. obtained summary judgment further expanding the definition of a “sidewalk” as defined in Village Law Section 6-628, where plaintiff tripped over a guy wire located in a Village-owned park/plaza. Specifically, the Court held that plaintiff was required to establish that the Village of Pleasantville had prior written notice of the defect because the area, even if characterized as a park, served the functional purpose of a sidewalk. This Decision, issued by the Honorable Alexandra D. Murphy of Supreme Court, Westchester County, constitutes an expansion of Groninger v. Village of Mamaroneck, which held that a parking lot serves the “functional purpose” of a ”highway,” and Morzello v. Village of Briarcliff Manor, holding that a walkway leading from a parking lot to a municipal recreation center is subject to the prior written notice statute. In addition, Judge Murphy agreed with our arguments that the guy wire constituted an “obstruction” under the prior written notice statute. As Plaintiff failed to establish the applicability of an exception of the prior written notice statute, summary judgment was awarded to the Village of Pleasantville.


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