Fullerton Beck LLP partner Angelo Bianco successfully defended a Kingston, NY community center in a slip and fall case venued in New York Supreme Court, Ulster County. The 33-year-old female plaintiff tripped and fell on the sidewalk adjoining the community center and fractured her knee, requiring surgery. The plaintiff filed suit against the center, claiming it was responsible for maintaining the adjacent sidewalk, according to the city of Kingston municipal law.

Angelo filed a motion for summary judgment, asserting that although the community center was statutorily responsible for maintaining the city-owned sidewalk, the tort liability remained with the city of Kingston and did not shift to the adjoining landowner. He also used the plaintiff’s testimony and photos to illustrate the trivial nature of the defect and argued that there was no evidence that the center either created the condition or had prior notice of it, which is required for the plaintiff to establish her claims.

The court agreed with Angelo’s arguments – that the city of Kingston’s Administrative Code and Charter did not shift sidewalk tort liability to the adjacent landowner, that the community center did not create or have actual or constructive notice of the alleged condition, and that the alleged defect was trivial in nature and therefore not actionable under the law, further relinquishing any liability – and finding in favor of the defendant.