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Big Win for Kiernan Trebach in Weschester County!
May 10, 2022

Attorney Tara Corsello of Kiernan Trebach's NYC Office, with the assistance of Andrew Butz and Andrew Bassan, obtained summary judgment on behalf of an nationwide urgent care facility.

In Tara's case, Plaintiff alleged that she was injured when an office chair, on which Plaintiff was trying to sit, slid out from beneath her. The plaintiff, an elderly woman, sustained a broken ankle and made an $800,000 settlement demand.

After conducting discovery, the plaintiff filed a summary judgment motion arguing that she was entitled to a heightened duty not previously pleaded within her papers. Plaintiff argued that the defendant owed her a duty since she was physically on-premises and was injured. In response, Kiernan Trebach argued that no such heightened duty existed and that plaintiff's expert was not qualified under Frye v. United States, the prevailing case law in New York State. Kiernan Trebach then filed their own summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff failed to establish the existence of a dangerous condition. The testimony established that the plaintiff, who was accompanying a minor for medical treatment, had been asked to leave the examination room and return to the waiting room while the minor underwent radiological diagnostic testing. Instead, the plaintiff went to a staffer's desk, in an area not open to patients, and attempted to sit on an office chair with rolling canisters. While not paying attention, the plaintiff backed up onto the chair, causing the office chair to roll out beneath her. The testimony further established that the office chair did not break at the time of the plaintiff's accident, nor was there any notice of it being defective before her accident.

The New York Supreme Court of Westchester County granted Kiernan Trebach's motion, finding that the urgent care had demonstrated no actual defective condition or notice of a defective condition. The Court further agreed that the urgent care did not owe the plaintiff any heightened duty and that plaintiff's proffered expert did not pass the Frye test, ultimately denying the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment. In a scathing 8-page opinion, the Court agreed with every point raised by Kiernan Trebach in opposition to the plaintiff's motion and their stand-alone papers and quoted a good portion of the urgent care's arguments. The Court found that the sole proximate cause of the plaintiff's injuries was her own actions, fully dismissing the case and all claims against the urgent care.

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