SUMMARY JUDGMENT GRANTED : STORM IN PROGRESS DOCTRINE APPLIED TO ACCIDENT INSIDE THE FIRM’S CONVENIENCE STORE CLIENT
The Honorable Donna M. Mills, Justice of the Supreme Court for New York County, granted the firm’s motion for summary judgment despite evidence of slush and snow being present on the floor immediately inside a 7-Eleven location. The accident and resultant injuries being claimed by plaintiff resulted from the accumulation of slush inside of a 7-Eleven location in New York City during an on-going snow storm. Plaintiff had claimed the owners of the 7-Eleven at issue had failed to maintain reasonable safety measures during a storm in the winter of 2013. The court not only found 7-Eleven’s safety precautions to be reasonable, but further that the same were appropriate during the time of an on-going snow storm.
In a prudent decision rendered by Justice Mills, the Court found that dry moping the subject floor and placing orange cones to signify a potential hazard, constituted appropriate safety measures in the face of an on-going storm. In granting summary judgment, the court agreed with defense counsel, Nicole Licata-McCord, as she argued that the well-founded case law clearly states “a landlord’ s duty to remedy a dangerous condition at the time of an on-going storm does not arise until a reasonable time after the storm has ended.” In this instance, Ms. Licata-McCord used weather reports, testimony from both parties, and surveillance video, to clearly establish that a storm was on-going and that 7-Eleven had taken the abovementioned reasonable precautions to notify any patrons of a potential hazard.
The “storm in progress” doctrine is uniformly applied to accidents which occur within the interior or outside of a defendant’s premises. The firm is extremely pleased that the Court in this case held that the defendant’s response to an ongoing storm was reasonable and moreover, applied this doctrine to an accident that occurred within interior of the premises itself. Finally, the Court agreed with the Ms. Licata-McCord when she argued that the burden upon a store owner is not for constant maintenance during an ongoing storm and in granting summary judgment, properly concluded that 7-Eleven did not breach a duty of care to the plaintiff.
Nicole Licata-McCord – Associate
Sobel Pevzner, LLC