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Farmer, Geraghty and Cahill Use Notice to Admit to Secure Pre-Deposition Summary Judgment for Brooklyn Landowner

March 25, 2020

Jana Farmer (Partner-White Plains), Patrick Geraghty (Partner-New York) and John Cahill (Associate-White Plains) defended Wilson Elser’s client, the owner and manager of an apartment building, in a suit against the client and the City of New York. Plaintiff allegedly tripped and fell over a raised brick border surrounding a tree well on a sidewalk adjacent to our client’s premises. Shortly after the suit was filed, and plaintiff’s photographs, which showed that all the bricks were within the perimeter of the tree well, were exchanged through document discovery, Jana, Patrick and John served a Notice to Admit upon plaintiff to confirm that the photographs fairly and accurately depicted the tree well as it appeared on the date of the plaintiff’s accident. The team’s requests to admit were deemed admitted by virtue of plaintiff’s failure to respond. They then moved for summary judgment on the grounds that no duty was owed to plaintiff since his injury occurred within the tree well. New York courts have routinely held that tree wells are not part of sidewalks within the meaning of New York City Administrative Code section 7-210. The court granted our motion prior to depositions having been conducted, saving the client considerable costs of discovery and months of litigation.

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