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Topchieva v. Lovett Co., LLC

Sup Ct, New York County

August 14, 2013

Erena Topchieva, Plaintiff,
v.
The Lovett Co., LLC, Macarthur Properties, LLC, The Lex 54 Condo., Defendants Index No. 111750/10

Unpublished Opinion

Joan M. Kenney, J.S.C.

Recitation, as required by CPLR 2219(a), of the papers considered in review of this motion for summary judgment.

Papers Numbered

Notice of Motion, Affirmation, and Exhibits 1-14

Opposition Affirmation and Exhibits 15-18

Reply Affirmation and Exhibits 19-22

In this personal injury action, defendants, The Lovett Co., LLC (Lovett), and The Lex 54 Condominium (Lex), move for an Order, pursuant to CPLR 3212, dismissing the complaint against them.

Factual Background

On January 17, 2010, between the times of 7:00 pm and 7:30 pm, plaintiff slipped on the floor as she entered her residential building located at 135 E. 54th St., New York, NY (the accident). At the time of the accident it was raining outside, and had been raining for hours prior.

Plaintiff approached the doors of the building from the outside, and was let in by a porter named Juan. This porter opened the door which was on plaintiffs right. The entrance to the building is composed of two glass doors, one of which was locked, and the other open to let people in and out of the building. The locked door was on plaintiffs left as she entered the building. When the porter opened the door and plaintiff took a step into the building, the sole of her right shoe (which was wet from the rain and the pavement outside) slipped on the floor, causing her to fall and collapse down onto her left leg, causing her injuries.

Ellen Kornfeld, Vice President and Partner of Lovett (the managing agent), testified at an examination before trial (EBT) on behalf of moving defendants, and stated that "in the event of rain or snow, the building staff was required to put rain mats out at the entrance where the front door opens." (Kornfeld EBT at pp. 48-49). It is undisputed that a rain mat was on the lobby floor when the accident occurred.

However, plaintiff claims that the mat was not placed in front of the open door, but instead was placed off to the left, mostly in front of the locked door, so that her first step inside the premises with her right foot was directly onto the floor, and not on the mat. Defendants refute this statement, and insist that the mat slid to the left due to plaintiffs fall. Surveillance video of the accident, provided with plaintiffs opposition, and viewed by the ...


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