DEFENDANTS’ FINGER-POINTING TRIGGERED “ISSUES OF FACT”
As she was crossing the street, A. Ocean was hit by a piece of wood which fell off a sidewalk shed owned by Rock Group. She later filed a personal-injury lawsuit, with the New York County Supreme Court, against Rock Group, along with the building’s owner and managing agent -- Strivers Gardens Condominium Association and New Bedford Management Corp. (together Strivers).
When the defendants later filed motions for pre-trial relief in their favor, arguing that that they each owed no duty to the plaintiff, and that the other (defendant) had the responsibility to inspect the shed, the New York County Supreme County ended up denying their respective applications.
And given that finger-pointing, and the unresolved “questions of fact” which arose as a result, the Appellate Division, First Department, thought the court below “correctly denied” the requested relief, particularly since each defendant failed to establish that it did not have “actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition.”
It was also premature to grant Rock Group’s request to dismiss the indemnification claims Strivers asserted against it, as each entity's "freedom from negligence” hadn't been established.
Should these defendants have striven to do better here?
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