On August 23, 2017, a New York County Supreme Court Justice denied a property owner's motion to dismiss the claim of a personal injury claimant who was injured when he slipped on snow and ice as he was descending an exterior staircase. The property owner argued that this case didn't deserve a jury trial as they had no obligation to remove snow and ice until the snowstorm ended. This is a well recognized defense that often results in a pre-trial dismissal of similar cases. But not all the time.
The Court denied the motion based on a meteorologist's affidavit and a certified weather report indicating that despite the two day storm that preceded the incident--there was a period of five hours with no snow, 4 hours with only trace amounts of snowfall and no snow at all at the time of the incident. The Judge cited case law showing a historical precedent for allowing a case of this nature to be decided by a jury on whether the property owner was justified in not clearing the snow and ice when there were interruptions in the snow storm. Valentini v PCV St Owner, 2017 WL 3492287, Index No. 155894/14