In a personal injury action stemming from a trip and fall on steps at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, defendant made a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the steps did not constitute a dangerous condition and that plaintiff should have seen the steps because they were open and obvious.
In opposition, Finz & Finz, P.C., argued that there is a question of fact as to whether the steps were dangerous because they created optical confusion, the illusion of a flat surface which visually obscured the steps. Finz & Finz, P.C., argued that due to defendant’s failure to demarcate the edges of the steps and failure to install accompanying handrails or bannisters, the plaintiff believed she was walking on a flat surface, not steps, when her accident occurred. Photographs submitted by Finz & Finz, P.C., showed that it was difficult to distinguish where one step ended and another step began.
Hon. Robert J. McDonald of Queens County Supreme Court agreed with our arguments and denied defendant’s motion, holding that the defect claimed by our firm pertaining to the subject stairway was not open and obvious as a matter of law and that there is an issue of fact as to whether the subject stairway created optical confusion whereby plaintiff was unable to observe the change in elevation. The decision was featured in the New York Law Journal.
The winning opposition papers were drafted by Joshua B. Sandberg of Finz & Finz, P.C.