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Haimson Secures Summary Judgment in Albany Slip-and-Fall Case

November 6, 2019

Nicole Haimson (Associate-Albany) was granted summary judgment in Albany County Supreme Court in a negligence case involving a slip and fall in a parking lot. After parking in the subject lot without permission, the plaintiff was crossing the lot when she fell. Pursuant to its contract, the insured ice and snow removal company checked the condition of the parking lot early the morning of the plaintiff’s fall and noted no ice. The plaintiff testified clearly and consistently that she did not see any snow or ice in the parking lot or observe any ice in the area where she fell. She testified that the weather was sunny and the temperature was above freezing. She “assumed” she fell on black ice because the lot was “slick.” In an attempt to correct her testimony, the plaintiff retained a meteorologist who opined that fluctuations in temperatures would have caused ice to form approximately four hours before the fall when snow piles melted and refroze. However, the meteorologist conceded that at the time of the plaintiff’s fall, the temperature was above freezing. The Court noted that the nature of black ice is that it is not “visible or apparent,” and that the insured did not see any ice on the morning of the plaintiff’s fall and was never notified of any icy condition. In addition, the Court found the claims of the meteorologist to be nothing more than speculation and conjecture.

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