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Citarella v. United States

United States District Court, E.D. New York

January 3, 2015

ANTHONY CITARELLA, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant

For the Plaintiff: Timothy P. Mazzei, Esq., Patricia B. Blair, Esq., Of Counsel, Mazzei & Blair, Blue Point, NY.

For the Defendant: Assistant United States Attorney, Robert W. Shumacher, II, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Central Islip, NY.

Page 152

DECISION AND ORDER

ARTHUR D. SPATT, United States District Judge.

On June 11, 2012, the Plaintiff Anthony Citarella (the " Plaintiff" ) commenced this action pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2671 et seq. (the " FTCA" ) related to a January 6, 2010 incident where the Plaintiff allegedly slipped, fell, and injured himself on ice located on a loading dock behind the Blue Point Post Office operated by the Defendant the United States of America (the " Defendant" ).

On May 22, 2014, following the completion of discovery, the Defendant moved pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (" Fed. R. Civ. P." ) 56 for summary judgment dismissing the complaint. For the reasons set forth, the Defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted.

I. BACKGROUND

Unless stated otherwise, the following facts are drawn from the parties' Rule 56.1 Statements and exhibits and construed in a light most favorable to the non-moving party, the Plaintiff. Triable issues of fact are noted.

The Plaintiff was at all relevant times an employee of the Town of Brookhaven.

The Defendant operates a United States Post Office at 141 Montauk Avenue in Blue Point, New York (the " BPPO" ).

Prior to January 6, 2010, the Plaintiff had been to the BPPO before, and had been on, and was familiar with, the BPPO loading dock. He had never previously complained to any postal worker about ice accumulation at the BPPO nor is he aware of any complaints about ice accumulation at the BPPO lodged by others.

Between approximately October 2009 and September 2012, Robert Degaro (" Degaro" ) was the Postmaster at the BPPO. Prior to January 6, 2010, Degaro never received any complaints, or notice of any kind, regarding ice, or any dangerous condition, on the BPPO loading dock. Further, Degaro never personally observed ice on the BPPO loading dock on January 6, 2010 nor did anyone, including Degaro's subordinates and the Plaintiff, complain to him or notify him of ice on the BPPO loading dock on January 6, 2010.

On January 6, 2010, the weather in Blue Point was cold and overcast, with no precipitation. On that day, according to the Plaintiff, between approximately 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m, while in the course of his employment for the Town of Brookhaven, he slipped, fell, and injured himself on ice located on the loading dock behind the BBPO. Although the Plaintiff had ...


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