Supreme Court Grants Westchester Associate’s Motion for Reargument and Summary Judgment in Premises Liability Case

April 2021

Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani's Michael Schacher, Associate in the Westchester office, was granted Reargument and Summary Judgment dismissal of a plaintiff’s complaint and all cross-claims in a premises liability cause of action brought in New York County Supreme Court.  

The plaintiff, a former Hollywood actress, alleged that she was involved in an accident on April 14, 2017, while attending a production of “The Hairy Ape” at the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan. The plaintiff alleged that she was caused to slip, trip, and fall while walking to her seat due to a dangerous and/or defective condition relating to a rotating stage involved with the production.  As a result of the accident, the plaintiff alleged multiple injuries to her left ankle, left foot and right wrist.  The plaintiff brought suit against eleven (11) defendants, including the firm’s client who supplied the Armory with a labor force to bring in pieces of the rotating stage, disassemble the stage, construct the bleachers, prep stage and drapes.

Within Schacher’s motion he argued that the client was entitled to Summary Judgment as they did not negligently cause or create the dangerous condition which allegedly caused the plaintiff’s accident; did not owe a duty of care to the plaintiff; did not “launch a force or instrument of harm” under the Espinal case law standard; and there was no evidence that they had actual or constructive notice of the alleged dangerous or defective condition.  Plaintiff argued our client’s motion should be denied as there were issues of fact whether our client assisted in installing the subject rotating stage.

The Judge initially denied Schacher’s Motion for Summary Judgment due to a technicality.  However, that Judge retired in December of 2020.  Schacher then filed a Motion to Reargue the Court’s prior Order and upon Reargument, an Order granting Summary Judgment dismissal of the plaintiff’s complaint and all cross-claims.  The new Judge granted Reargument, and upon Reargument agreed with Schacher’s arguments and granted our client’s Motion for Summary Judgment in its entirety.