Court Finds for City After Worker Suffers Accident at Shea Stadium

Apr 24, 2009

A New York state court has granted the City of New York’s motion for summary judgment dismissing all claims and cross-claims asserted against it in a case in which a worker, the plaintiff, was allegedly injured on May 4, 2006 at Shea Stadium.
A contractor, employed by Liro Kassner, Inc., claimed that he slipped and fell on a purported grease condition on a floor at Shea Stadium. The plaintiff alleged that the City was negligent in maintaining the concourse in near total darkness and permitting the maintenance contractor, Harvard Maintenance, Inc., to power wash the premises causing grease to spread on the floor. The plaintiff also claimed that Harvard was negligent in failing to contain the water from its power washing.
The Court held that it was not undisputed that the City did not create the alleged dangerous condition and that it was not even a party to the cleaning maintenance contract with Harvard. Furthermore, the Court stated that even if there was an issue with regard to whether the City performed the cleaning and power washing of the Stadium, there was no evidence “as to the origin of the alleged greasy spot where plaintiff fell” as the plaintiff, himself, “characterized his allegation that the slippery condition was caused by power washing as mere speculation.”
Judge Kerrigan also concluded that the City demonstrated that it had no actual or constructive notice of the purported condition as the evidence established that there were no prior complaints and the plaintiff admitted that he had no problem walking on the concourse that morning until he stepped on the specific spot where his accident occurred.
In addition, the Court noted that “[i]n the absence of any proof as to how long the specific greasy puddle existed, any conclusion that the City had a reasonable opportunity to correct the condition would be pure speculation.” The plaintiff failed to demonstrate a nexus between the allegedly poor lighting and the accident as, among other things, the plaintiff admitted he could see the floor.
The judge also granted Harvard’s motion for summary judgment, finding that it did not create the condition, that there was no evidence that the power washing caused the slippery condition and that it did not have actual or constructive notice of the condition.
Attorneys of Record: (for defendant) Carla Varriale and Jarett L. Warner of
Havkins, Rosenfeld, Ritzert & Varriale.
Peter Conti v. The New York City Dep’t of Parks & Recreation, et. al.; Supreme Court, Queens County; Index Number 23474/09; 3/13/09


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