CMM recently reported that our municipal liability team had secured the dismissal of a lawsuit filed against longtime client the Town of Riverhead. Less than a month later, we did it again.

In this latest success story, the plaintiff sought damages for injuries allegedly sustained from a slip and fall on plywood covering a hole in a sidewalk in the Town of Riverhead. In addition to the Town, the named defendants included the corporate owner of the building the sidewalk was in front of, the New York State Department of Transportation (which owned the sidewalk), and the contracting company performing sidewalk work at the time of the accident.

Following testimony and written discovery conducted by CMM’s Scott Middleton, CMM moved for summary judgment – essentially, a request that the court dismiss the case against the Town because the undisputed facts relieve the Town of all liability. In the motion, Middleton, joined by David Green, argued that the Town of Riverhead did not own the sidewalk, was not responsible for any ongoing construction at the location, did not have written notice of the allegedly defective condition, did not create the condition, and did not owe the plaintiff a duty.

The court granted our motion, finding that CMM provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate the Town of Riverhead’s absence of liability in the case. The court found that we had shown that the Town played no role in the placement of cones or other devices at the scene and did not own the location of the plaintiff’s fall. Further, according to the court, the plaintiff provided no evidence that the Town had created the dangerous condition, owed a duty to ensure safety at the location, or had removed any safety devices. Thus, the Town could not be held responsible for the fall in any way.

The granting of the motion is a major victory for the Town of Riverhead, which is now completely out of the case. Visit our Municipal Liability page to learn more about our success representing municipal clients.