2221 Renewal in the interest of justice

Ross v Lewis, 2020 NY Slip Op 01461 [1st Dept. 2020]

The duty of a landowner to take reasonable measures to remedy a dangerous condition caused by a storm is suspended while the storm is in progress, and does not commence until a reasonable time after the storm has ended (see Solazzo v New York City Tr. Auth., 6 NY3d 734, 735 [2005]).

It was undisputed that the snow continued to fall, albeit in trace amounts, until 2:30 a.m. at the earliest, five and a half hours before the accident. The weather records and defendant’s expert’s affidavit, once presented in admissible form, indicated that it was snowing in more than trace amounts until 11 p.m. on January 23, 2016, and in trace amounts thereafter. Thus, a reasonable period of time to correct the snow and ice condition on the steps had not yet elapsed at the time of the accident, given the blizzard conditions.

Plaintiff asserts that the weather data was not in admissible form on defendant’s initial motion. However, the court in its discretion may grant renewal in the interest of justice, upon facts known to the movant at the time of the original motion so as not to “defeat substantive fairness” (see Rancho Santa Fe Assn. v Dolan-King, 36 AD3d 460, 461 [1st Dept 2007]). Here, the court improvidently exercised its discretion upon renewal in failing to consider the weather data, in that the charts were identical to the data submitted in connection with the initial motion and plaintiff did not challenge the information or authenticity of the data contained in the charts.

Plaintiff contends that, regardless of whether defendant was required to remove the snow at an earlier time, his efforts, as depicted in a photograph, exacerbated the dangerous condition.However, the photograph is too unclear to raise a triable issue of fact as to this speculative claim.

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