Judge Rules for Parade Organizer in Suit by Woman Allegedly Injured Along Route
Case Study

Judge Rules for Parade Organizer in Suit by Woman Allegedly Injured Along Route

October 29, 2019

In a victory for Goldberg Segalla associate Gary A. Marshall Jr., a state Supreme Court judge has dismissed a veterans-service organization from a lawsuit by a woman allegedly injured in a Memorial Day parade in Islip in 2010.

The suit stemmed from an accident in which the woman stepped in an open water-valve sleeve in a road along the parade route, injuring her ankle. Alleging that the injury caused lingering pain, the woman sued both the parade organizer and the county water authority that owns and maintains the water-valve sleeve.

Representing the parade organizer, a veterans-service organization, Gary—a member of Goldberg Segalla’s General Liability practice group—moved in 2018 for dismissal of the suit against his client. In doing so, he relied heavily on a case involving a 1997 Columbus Day parade in New York City. In that case, DiNardo v. City of New York, the plaintiff tripped over a pothole in the street. According to DiNardo, a parade organizer who “legally uses city streets for parade purposes is not an insurer of the safety of the participants.”

The water authority, as well as the plaintiff, opposed the motion to dismiss the case against Gary’s client. Gary established through affidavit and deposition testimony, however, that the parade organizer didn’t perform security services for the route and did not direct the parade participants in how they would march, and the court granted his motion for dismissal.

Gary’s successful motion to dismiss the veterans-service organization from the suit was the second such motion that had been filed. In 2017, before Gary picked up the case, a previous attorney had sought summary judgment. That time, the motion was denied because the court was unclear what a parade organizer’s duty to a parade participant is when the latter’s injured because of a defect in the route.


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