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First Department Upholds Trial Court’s Denial of Summary Judgment to Parking Garage Owner

January 6, 2021 • Posted By Joseph A. French • Insurance Coverage

Joseph A. Serrano v. Riverbay Corporation


             While walking in defendant’s garage, plaintiff was struck by an unidentified vehicle.  According to plaintiff, there were no speedbumps, stop signs, pedestrian crossings or pathway found along the garage’s ramps. 

            The Court found that defendant failed to establish prima facie that it maintained Garage 1 in a reasonably safe condition.  Its director of parking at the time of the accident testified in general terms about the eight parking facilities that defendant owned and knew nothing about the safety measures in place at Garage 1 at the time of the accident.  Nor did defendant submit an expert affidavit that supported its claim that Garage 1 was maintained in a reasonably safe condition at the time of the accident and comported with generally accepted standards at the time it was constructed or thereafter (see Barley v. Robert J. Wilkins, Inc., 122 AD3d 1116, 1117 (3d Dept 2014).

            Defendant did not establish that it had no notice of the unsafe condition.  Reasonably, the parking director testified that no signage records were kept, nor did he know when a safety inspection had last been conducted, or even whether a search had been made for complaints about speeding complaints.  The director was aware that the garage’s employees told tenants to slow down.

            In short, without the defendant giving the Court much to chew on and consider it was fairly easy for the Court to confirm the lower Court’s decision because defendant fell far short of establishing there were no issues of fact.

  Joseph A. French