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Alleged defective interior step at defendants' home Plaintiff, mother of defendant father who is watching young grandchild as defendants are at work, falls and suffers ankle fracture.

Queens County

The plaintiff, the retired mother of the defendant homeowner, contended that the interior stairway leading from the second floor to the first floor was defective, had inappropriate treads and risers and an improperly placed handrail. The plaintiff, who came to the premises at 5:45 a.m. to take care of her granddaughter, while both her son and his wife left the premises to work, contended that she lost her balance as she stepped onto the second step on the top of a staircase, reached instinctively for a handrail and fell.

The plaintiff alleged Building Code violation and improper maintenance.

The defendant argued that there were no violations on the stairwell and that the plaintiff’s failure to walk more carefully was the cause of the fall. The defendant pointed out that the plaintiff had been at the premises many times in the past, was familiar with the area and her negligence was responsible for the fall.

The defendant’s safety expert maintained that there was no departure from good and accepted building practice and that there were no Building Code violations on the stairs.

The jury found for the defendants.

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