Court of Appeals Holds Plaintiff’s Use of Makeshift Milk Crate Steps in Lieu of a Wall Ladder Create Question of Fact in Personal Injury Action

In Newman v RPCI Landmark Properties, LLC (No. 174) previewed here, the Court of Appeals reversed the Appellate Division, First Department’s order dismissing the personal injury complaint, where the First Department had held that Newman’s claim was barred as a matter of law because Newman’s choice to use a set of plastic milk crates to get to the floor of a loading dock at Rockefeller Center in lieu of an obstructed wall ladder that Newman was not aware was available was the sole cause of his injuries.

The Court of Appeals disagreed, holding that the defendant’s submissions on summary judgment left open questions of fact concerning whether it was negligent in some way and whether that negligence was the proximate cause of Newman’s knee injuries.  Thus, the Court denied the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, without regard to the sufficiency of Newman’s proof on summary judgment, and sent the case back for trial.

The Court of Appeals’ opinion can be found here.

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