• Steven D. Zecca Obtains Summary Judgment in New York City Sidewalk Case

Steven D. Zecca, of ADM's New York City office, recently obtained summary judgment in a case involving a trip and fall on a Manhattan sidewalk. The 24 year old Plaintiff tripped and fell on a hole in sidewalk, sustaining ACL and meniscal tears, requiring surgery. The Plaintiff subsequently developed a collapsed lung after surgery. Our client was the tenant operating an outdoor parking lot adjacent to the sidewalk. Through discovery, we successfully developed evidence that the hole abutted a Con Edison owned sidewalk vault cover. We also established that our client did not utilize that portion of the sidewalk to drive cars over or to park cars on. Upon completion of discovery, we filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the client owed no duty to the Plaintiff pedestrian and that it did not breach its lease with the landlord. Mr. Zecca argued that pursuant to 34 RCNY § 2-07, Con Edison had the exclusive control over, and the exclusive responsibility to maintain and repair, the sidewalk vault cover and twelve-inches surrounding same, which included the hole that Plaintiff tripped on. Mr. Zecca further argued that pursuant to 34 RCNY § 2-07, the client could not possibly have a special use over the area and that the client did not create the hole that Plaintiff tripped on. On June 14, 2017, the motion was argued in Supreme Court, New York County before Hon. Kelly O'Neill Levy. Justice O’Neill Levy agreed with our contentions and granted summary judgment, dismissing Plaintiff’s complaint and all claims against our client. Prior to motion practice, Plaintiff’s counsel made a settlement demand of $300,000 to our client’s insurance carrier. No offer was made.