When you are involved in a New York personal injury case, it is crucial to provide the court with evidence of your claim in your original papers of suit. Our New York injury attorneys understand the importance of detailed and complete filings in your New York injury lawsuit.
Gomez v. Stop Shop is a factually basic case; however, it discusses the issue of summary judgments. Where there is no liability question that could be clarified through litigation, the court is well within its discretion in entering a summary judgment.
A summary judgment is when a judge enters a verdict for one party without having a full trial. The most common time this occurs in claims is when the judge cannot find any genuine and material dispute as to the facts of the case.
The case at hand arose when Gomez was in the Stop and Shop supermarket with his wife. He asserts that he began to feel strange sensations in his right foot. These sensations made the plaintiff unable to lift his right foot. This caused him to lose balance and fall in one of the aisles of the supermarket. As a result of this fall, the plaintiff sustained a fractured hip in addition to other minor injuries.
Plaintiff sued the defendant claiming that the defendant negligently maintained the premises because there was a sticky foreign substance on the floor which caused the plaintiffs to fall. The defendant denied this contention and filed a motion for summary judgment.
The court in this case discusses the importance of evidentiary proof in all claims. There were no witnesses identified as having seen the plaintiff fall. There were also no witnesses that observed anything wrong with the floor. Furthermore, no one was identified as having seen any foreign substance on the floor where the plaintiff had fallen.
Now this is applicable to New York slip and fall cases as it discusses the required evidence in a premise liability case. The judge in Gomez found that in order for the defendant to be liable for negligently maintaining the premises, the plaintiff had to prove that the defendant should have reasonably foreseen the existence of the dangerous substance on the floor.
Because the plaintiff failed to provide any evidence that the defendant could have foreseen any dangerous condition on the floor, and he even failed to provide any evidence that there really was a foreign substance on the floor, the court entered a judgment for the defendant.
The judge entered judgment for the defendant without hearing the case because the plaintiff failed to present sufficient proof in his court motions. Instead procedure dictates that when a party files a motion for summary judgment, the judge is required to evaluate all of the facts produced in the parties court papers, resolve all evidentiary conflicts, and infer any reasonable conclusions.
In this instance the judge found that there was no duty placed on the defendant in terms of premise liability because there was no proof that the defendant should have or even could have foreseen this injury to the plaintiff.
Summary judgments are very common where the plaintiff fails to prove that there is a genuine dispute as to material facts of the case. It is for the purpose of judicial efficiency that judges are allowed to enter these judgments.
Presenting your case correctly from the beginning, can be the difference between whether you win or lose.
If you have been injured contact New York injury attorneys at Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC to schedule a free appointment. Call 718-261-0546.