Andrew C. Kaye Obtains Summary Judgment in Slip and Fall Action in Supreme Court, Bronx County

February 28, 2020

Plaintiff, a 46-year-old union maintenance worker alleges that she was caused to slip and fall on soap in a bathroom for which she was responsible to clean.  As a result of the accident, plaintiff alleged multiple injuries, the most significant of which was a cervical herniation with radiculopathy for which she underwent a fusion procedure.

Plaintiff was in the process of cleaning the bathroom at the time of the accident. We represented the building management company which had no relationship to plaintiff or plaintiff’s employer. After trying for years to settle the case for litigation costs without any response from plaintiff’s counsel, at the conclusion of discovery we filed a motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal on multiple grounds, including that plaintiff is barred from maintaining a cause of action because she was injured cleaning the very condition she was hired to remedy. We also moved for dismissal under Espinal.

During the pendency of the motion the parties conferenced with the Court regarding settlement. Plaintiff’s counsel advised there was a workers’ compensation lien in excess of $200,000 and that his client was looking for fair compensation to allow her to repay the lien and compensate her for the fusion procedure and 16 years of lost union wages and benefits.  Knowing the strength of the motion, we viewed settlement as nuisance value and indeed, after oral argument, the Court dismissed plaintiff’s Complaint, citing both of our arguments as the basis for its decision.