In an Order dated August 13, 2018, a New York County Supreme Court Justice granted the pre-trial motion of a building owner to dismiss the case of a severely injured pasta chef who fell down a flight of stairs to the basement of the Pazzia restaurant in Manhattan. The Court recognized that the failure to maintain a handrail for the staircase was a building code violation; however, the pasta chef was so drunk Justice Levy found that the cause of the accident was intoxication-not the absent handrail. The plaintiff admitted he had consumed 3-4 glasses of vodka mixed with coke within one hour of his fall. A toxicologist explained that the NY Presbyterian Hospital blood tests revealed a blood alcohol level of 0.371% and that level would require the consumption of at least 22 ounces of vodka. Another medical expert stated that a mere 0.16% blood alcohol level has been proven to increase your risk of falling by 60 times.
Worse yet for the pasta chef was his inability to recall why or how he fell down 13 steps, even though he conveniently remembered reaching for the handrail to arrest his fall. The Court concluded: " Plaintiff's severe intoxication was the principal and sole proximate cause of his accident and renders the alleged defects in the staircase too remote to constitute a proximate cause of his injuries...." Quito v PCS Management,LLC, 2018 WL 3838305