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DEFENDANT''S Plaintiff alleged that she tripped and fell on exit ramp of defendant mall''s parking garage - Alleged violation of building code in failure to have hand rail and non-slip paint on floor - Fractured pelvis.

Westchester County

The plaintiff, a 76-year-old female, claimed that she tripped and fell on an exit ramp of the parking garage at the Westchester Mall which is owned by the defendant. She sued the owner alleging that the ramp was in violation of the building code by failing to have a hand rail and non-slip paint on the floor. The defendant argued that the area of the garage where the plaintiff tripped and fell was not an exit ramp and was not required to have a hand rail or non-slip paint. The defendant maintained that the plaintiff’’s fall was an accident. The plaintiff is a practicing pediatrician. As a result of the fall, she sustained a fractured pelvis. The plaintiff’’s engineering expert opined that the area where the plaintiff fell is an exit ramp and as such it is covered by the building code’’s requirements of a hand rail and appropriate floor surface. The defendant’’s expert architect opined that the area where the plaintiff fell is not an exit ramp and that as such it did not require a hand rail or non-slip floor paint. The defendant’’s mall manager testified that the parking garage and mall had a certificate of occupancy that validated that it was not in violation of any building codes and that the mall was carefully maintained. After a three-day-trial and after deliberating for four hours, the jury returned a defense verdict.

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