Homeowners Not Responsible for Meter Installer Closing Finger in Her Own Car Door

It’s rare that we come across a clean sweep on summary judgment in favor of the defendants.  The Second Department, reminding defendants to never to lose hope, gives us a look at a recent example of one of these anomalies. 

In Marshall v. Manuel, 2024 NY Slip Op 02809, plaintiff was injured when she closed her right pinky finger in the door of a vehicle while it was double parked, in the street, outside the premises owned by the defendants.  Plaintiff alleged that her injury occurred in the course of her employment as a “meter installer” with her non-party employer.  Notably, plaintiff was in the street when the subject incident occurred, and not on the property owned by the defendants.  She was tasked with installing parking meters outside the subject premises.  Plaintiff commenced the underlying action alleging violations of Labor Law §§ 200, 240(1), 241(6) and common law negligence. 

With minimal discovery exchanged, the defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that plaintiff was not injured at their premises, not employed by them, and that they did not furnish the allegedly defective and/or dangerous vehicle which caused her injury.

The Supreme Court, Kings County granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment in its entirety. The defendants established that they owed no duty to plaintiff as the allegedly dangerous and defective vehicle was not owned by or under the defendant’s care or control.  As to the Labor Law claims, the lower Court held that the defendants’ submissions further established that plaintiff was not employed by them or performing work at their property, and plaintiff is therefore not entitled to Labor Law protections.

The Appellate Division, Second Department affirmed, only further noting that the plaintiff’s argument that the motion was premature was “without merit” as plaintiff failed to offer an evidentiary basis to suggest that discovery might lead to relevant evidence essential to opposing the motion that was exclusively within the defendants’ control.   

The Marshall decision can be found here.

For additional information, contact Philip D. Priore, Esq. and/or Michael J. Shields, Esq.

This article was prepared by McCormick & Priore, P.C. to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers.  This publication is in no way intended to provide legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship.  All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of McCormick & Priore, P.C.