Gomez v. Brodsky Organization

NEW YORK COUNTY
Torts

New York Law Journal

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Justice Paul Wooten

An action for personal injuries arose after Gomez fell on a defective staircase located inside a Dean & DeLuca grocery store. Gomez contended that he was going down the stairs to speak with his supervisor and when he attempted to take a step, he slipped on a stair that "felt deep." He added that he was unable to maintain his hold on the handrail because it was too big and he hit his head on a low ceiling directly above the stairway and fell to the bottom. Defendants argued that defendant Brodsky Organization did not own, manage, control, operate or derive a special use from the premises at the time of the accident. The court, therefore, found that they made a prima facie showing that Brodsky did not owe Gomez a duty of care. Gomez argued that there were issues of fact as to whether Brodsky was the managing agent of the building and as to whether Brodsky had a direct or indirect ownership interest in the building. The court found that Gomez failed to raise an issue of fact as to whether Brodsky owned, controlled, or made a special use of the property, adding that even if Brodsky were the managing agent it still could not be liable because it did not have complete and exclusive control over the demised space.

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