MKCI’s Robert Connor and our Syracuse, NY team successfully opposed Plaintiff’s appeal of a prior summary judgment win in a premises liability claim. Plaintiff brought the underlying action against a property owner and tenant asserting damages from an alleged trip and fall on a portion of a public sidewalk which had been excavated during a renovation.
Our client’s underlying motion for summary judgment was made on the basis that Plaintiff failed to properly allege a dangerous condition, as information gathered through extensive discovery affirmatively proved the specific area of sidewalk at issue did not fall within the alleged excavated area. Notably, Plaintiff was served with a Notice to Admit including photos Plaintiff took depicting the area of the alleged fall, requiring him to confirm that a particular designated area depicted in the photograph constituted the location of his fall, which he failed to respond to, and that we therefore argued constituted Plaintiff’s admission of its fact. Our summary judgment motion, seeking to dismiss the Complaint on behalf of our client, the tenant and eventual owner of the subject property, was granted by the Supreme Court of New York, Erie County.
On appeal, the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, upheld the Supreme Court’s grant of summary judgment, holding that a Notice to Admit “is deemed a formal judicial admission and is conclusive for that action.” As the only hazard alleged by Plaintiff was the excavated sidewalk, which fell outside of the designated area at issue as confirmed by our Notice to Admit, and Plaintiff failed to allege any defect within the actual designated area which caused or contributed to his fall, the Appellate Division held that the Supreme Court properly granted summary judgment based on a lack of a dangerous condition.
We are pleased to have overcome the hurdles necessary to obtain this result on behalf of our client.