Managing Partner Joseph Orlando prevails in appeal to the First Department in the matter of Alima Keita v. City of New York, et al.

In Keita (Supreme Court, Bronx County, Index # 305454/2009), the plaintiff was a security guard employed at a multi-level parking garage facility in Bronx, NY. The parking garage was owned, managed and maintained by the defendants. Plaintiff was working a 4pm – 12am shift on the date of loss (January 5, 2009). She allegedly slipped and fell on an icy stairwell at approx. 10pm at the roof level as she descending from the roof to the lower level. Plaintiff claimed that melting snow from the roof dripped down onto the stairs and formed the icy condition on which she purportedly fell. Mr. Orlando’s motion for summary judgment was denied based on the lower court’s finding of questions of fact as to whether defendants created the condition through their snow removal efforts at the roof level and whether defendants had notice of the condition. On appeal to the First Department, the lower court’s decision was unanimously reversed. The Appellate Division concluded that there were no triable issues as the certified climatological data for the day of the accident and the day prior reflected the absence of any precipitation but for a trace of snow approx. 20 hours prior to the incident. More importantly, the climatological data evidenced that any melting snow could not have frozen and formed the alleged icy condition as the temperature remained at 40 degrees during the 18 hours preceding the alleged accident. Lastly, the First Department cited to its recent decision in Roman v. Met-Paca II Assoc., LP, 85 AD3d 509 (2011) in concluding that defendants could not be charged with notice of the condition as plaintiff had gone up and down that staircase between 5 and 10 times during the few hours preceding her accident without noticing any snow or ice condition on said staircase. Nor did she observe the ice condition immediately before falling. The First Department reversed the lower court’s holding and granted summary judgment dismissal of plaintiff’s negligence claims against the defendants.