SJ Unanimously Affirmed

The Second Department unanimously affirmed the Supreme Court’s order granting summary judgment to our hospital client in a general negligence case. The plaintiff, a nurse’s assistant, sued the hospital after purportedly tripping on power cords connected to a mattress or Venodyne boot. SACS argued that the condition was open and obvious and not inherently dangerous based upon the surrounding circumstances.

In particular, SACS argued that plaintiff was treating a single, non-ambulatory patient in one room. Plaintiff had completed her first shift the day before and returned for her second shift and acknowledged that the room layout had not changed. In fact, she had been caring for the patient for 21 hours before she tripped on one of the cords, despite being able to avoid them without issue for hours before. We further argued that the cords were incidental to the property, as the mattress and Venodyne boots were in place to prevent DVTs while the patient rested. These were facts that, as a nurse’s assistant whose job was to care for the patient, were readily apparent. SACS further argued there were no regulations or testimony about the procedures for plugging in cords and thus it was not an unsafe condition.

The Court agreed, holding that the hospital was entitled to summary judgment on the grounds that the condition of the cords attached to the mattress and boot were “open and obvious” and concluded that the condition “as a matter of law [was] not inherently dangerous.”

Jason Corrado drafted the underlying successful summary judgment motion papers, Christopher Simone and Lena Holubnyczyj handled appellate briefing, and Nicholas Tam argued the appeal in the Second Department.

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