New York Attorney Gregory Brescia Obtains Full Dismissal on Summary Judgment for Retail Fitness Chain

May 2020

Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani New York Senior Counsel, Gregory Brescia, successfully secured summary judgment and a complete dismissal on behalf of the firm’s client, a prominent retail fitness chain, pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. 

The plaintiff allegedly sustained serious injuries while playing basketball at a fitness center in New Rochelle, New York, when he slipped on a puddle of water resulting from the fitness center’s ventilation system. The plaintiff’s theory of liability against the fitness chain was negligence in permitting wet and slippery conditions on the basketball court, causing the plaintiff to slip and injure himself. The plaintiff described injuries including a medial malleolus avulsion fracture and achilles tendon rupture to his right ankle requiring surgery.  The plaintiff sought $650,000 for the injuries sustained in connection with this incident. 

After the close of discovery, Brescia moved for summary judgment on the issue of liability, arguing that the plaintiff was unable to offer any testimony or evidence demonstrating that the firm’s client caused or created the alleged dangerous condition.  In its motion papers, Brescia further argued that the firm's client had neither actual nor constructive notice of such condition prior to the plaintiff’s accident.

In response, the plaintiff’s counsel attempted to correlate a leak observed in a different area of the facility as a means for establishing awareness of a recurring condition at the fitness center. In reply, Brescia argued notice of the alleged condition at the specific location is required and, thus, a general awareness that a dangerous condition may have existed elsewhere in the building is insufficient to constitute notice of the particular condition alleged to have caused an accident. 

Ultimately, Judge Terry Jane Ruderman agreed with Gordon & Rees' argument on the issue of liability, while also finding that the plaintiff failed to rebut the defendant's prima facie entitlement to summary judgment as a matter of law. The plaintiff's case was dismissed.