Was Landlord Responsible for Tenant's Fall in Stairway?
LVT Number: #24444
Tenant sued landlord for negligence after she slipped and fell in a building stairway while trying to avoid a puddle of urine covering some of the steps. Landlord claimed that it wasn't responsible and asked the court to dismiss the case without a trial. The court ruled for landlord. Tenant appealed, and the case was reopened. Landlord showed that, although it was aware of an ongoing problem with loiterers in the building's stairwell leaving debris and urine, it had no actual notice of the specific condition that caused tenant's accident. Landlord also had an adequate janitorial schedule in place for stairwell cleaning. But landlord didn't show that the janitorial schedule was followed on the day of the accident, and therefore didn't show that it lacked any notice of the condition. A trial was needed to determine the facts.
Williams v. NYCHA: NYLJ, 10/29/12, p. 18, col. 1 (App. Div. 1 Dept.; Gonzalez, PJ, Moskowitz, Acosta, Freedman, Abdus-Salaam, JJ)