Defense Meteorologist Can't Prove "Storm In Progress" Where Weather Reports Not Attached To Defense Summary Judgment Motion

Case: Cotter v Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Ctr

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

Date: 7/5/12

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

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Facts: This accident occurred when plaintiff slipped on ice. He sued the owner of the property.

The defense made a motion for summary judgment, asking the Court to dismiss the complaint. It sought the "safe harbor" of the "storm in progress" rule. This rule means that a property owner doesn't have to clean a sidewalk, and is not responsible for an accident occurring, while it's still snowing.

This defendant went the extra mile. His lawyers hired an expert meteorologist, who gave a professional opinion that it was snowing at the time of the accident. However, the meteorologist's weather reports -- that he relied upon -- were not attached to defendant's papers.

Held: The meteorologist's opinion is of no value since we can't see the weather reports he relied upon to say that it was snowing at the time of the accident. Also, the defendant didn't show that his snow removal efforts didn't make the walkway more dangerous.

The defense summary judgment motion therefore is denied.

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