Court Dismisses Suit Against Museum by Woman Who Tripped and Fell
Case Study

Court Dismisses Suit Against Museum by Woman Who Tripped and Fell

November 15, 2019

The New York Supreme Court has dismissed a woman’s premises-liability lawsuit against a museum in which she allegedly was injured when she fell while stepping through a doorway with an elevated threshold from one room into another. The building at issue was on the national historic register and was itself a part of the exhibit.

The October 23, 2019, ruling is a victory for the museum and its defense attorney, Goldberg Segalla associate James F. Faucher II, who successfully argued that the height differential between the floors on either side of threshold over which the woman allegedly fell wasn’t dangerous because it was “open and obvious” and that the museum had duly warned visitors with diagonal yellow-and-black stripes on the floor.

Though the court didn’t agree with the defense’s argument that the woman was “the sole cause of her fall because she observed the warnings and failed to take heed of them,” it did decide that additional warnings would have been “highly unlikely” to prevent the accident, as the plaintiff claimed, because she had failed to heed the warnings that were in place.

The case’s dismissal averted a scheduled trial.

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