Defective Staircase Case & Appeal Win
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Held & Hines, LLP Wins Appeal On Defective Staircase Case
In the matter of Rakovsky vs. Rob-Lee Corp., the Appellate Division, Second Department ruled in favor of Held & Hines’ Client and found the following:
DECISION & ORDER
In an action to recover damages for personal injuries, the plaintiff appeals from an order of the Supreme Court, Nassau County (John M. Galasso, J.), dated March 14, 2016. The order, insofar as appealed from, granted that branch of the motion of the defendants Rob-Lee Corp., Bill Elliot, and William E. Rosenblatt which was for summary judgment dismissing the complaint insofar as asserted against the defendant Rob-Lee Corp.
ORDERED that the order is reversed insofar as appealed from, on the law, with costs, and that branch of the motion of the defendants Rob-Lee Corp., Bill Elliot, and William E. Rosenblatt which was for summary judgment dismissing the complaint insofar as asserted against the defendant Rob-Lee Corp. is denied.
In opposition, the plaintiff argued, inter alia, that the absence of a second handrail proximately caused her injuries. She submitted the affidavit of an engineering expert, who averred that the condition of the staircase violated various provisions of the 1984 New York State Fire Prevention and Building Code (hereinafter the Building Code). The plaintiff raised a triable issue of fact regarding the absence of a second handrail. There is no dispute that the staircase required a second handrail (see 9 NYCRR former 765.4[a]). Given the plaintiff’s deposition testimony that there was nothing to grasp when she reached for the partial wall to her left, coupled with conflicting evidence as to whether the partial wall complied with section 765.4(a)(11) of the Building Code, triable issues of fact exist as to whether the Building Code was violated and whether a violation of that section of the Building Code, if any, was a proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries (see Martinez v Melendez, 32 AD3d 999; Peters v 1625 E. 13th St. Owners, Inc., 18 AD3d 456; Cortes v 1515 Williamsbridge Assoc., 295 AD2d 188; Cirino v Greek Orthodox Community of Yonkers, 193 AD2d 576).
Accordingly, the Supreme Court should have denied that branch of the defendants’ motion which was for summary judgment dismissing the complaint insofar as asserted against Rob-Lee Corp.
RIVERA, J.P., CHAMBERS, DUFFY and IANNACCI, JJ., concur.
Clerk of the Court