Plaintiff Hurt When He Crouched To Pass Through Too-Short Doorway While Carrying Heavy Box; Summary Judgment Denied To Building Owner

Case: Weremecki v. Broadway Continental Corp.

Court: Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York

Date: 6/2/12

From: New York attorney Gary E. Rosenberg (personal injury and accident attorney and lawyer; serving Brooklyn and Queens; Queens accident lawyer)

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Facts: On June 9, 2006, this accident victim was toting 90-pound boxes up stairs. The elevator for carrying freight was broken, and building rules prohibited moving freight in passenger elevators.

A doorway through which this plaintiff passed was lower than permitted by New York City's Building Code. While carrying a 90-pound box through the doorway he had to bend, and something in his back popped and he felt pain traveling down his legs.

Plaintiff and his wife sued, claiming that this accident was caused by the building owner's frequently broken freight elevator and by the Building Code-violating too-short doorway opening.

The lower court granted summary judgment to the owner dismissing the plaintiffs' lawsuit, but didn't rule on the accident victim's claim that the doorway contributed to his injuries.

Held: The owner's failure to address the accident victim's claim of a Building Code violation and whether the violation proximately caused the accident, was a failure of the owner's proof as applicant for summary judgment. Therefore, the building owner=s motion to dismiss the complaint is denied by the appeals court, and this case goes forward to trial.

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