Queens County Woman Who Fractured Wrist in Trip and Fall Over 1 3/8's Inch Sidewalk Defect Will Get a Jury Trial

On September 21, 2017 a Queens County Justice denied the motion of a cooperative apartment building to dismiss the claim of a trip and fall victim who fractured her wrist outside an apartment building in Richmond Hill. Due to overgrown or growing tree roots, adjacent sidewalk flags are lifted which causes a height differential between two flags. The plaintiff, who was disabled and walking with a cane, tripped over a vertical rise of a mere 1 3/8" inches and fell upon her outstretched hand fracturing her wrist. The defendant co-op board argued for pre-trial dismissal upon the ground that the height differential was only 1 3/8's of an inch and thus a trivial defect at best.

Case law is clear that under certain circumstances a property owner may not be held responsible for a trivial defect. However, in order to have the Court dismiss such a claim as a matter of law--even before a jury trial--the defendant must also prove that the defect did not constitute a trap or nuisance considering all of the circumstances at the time of the accident. There is "no minimal dimension test" said the Trial Court and the plaintiff is entitled to a jury trial to allow the jury to consider the "width, depth, elevation, irregularity, and appearance of the condition, along with the time, place, and circumstances of the injury." It is for a jury to also decide whether the defect was obvious or not and/or whether it presented a trap or snare.

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts " and "Top New York Settlements." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He was a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!


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