A state appeals court on Thursday rejected the city of Glens Falls’ attempts to throw out a lawsuit filed by a woman who suffered a severe ankle injury in 2014 when she slipped on a slippery sidewalk near Cool Insuring Arena.
The appeals court ruling was handed down in a lawsuit filed by Kingston resident Lisa Hurley in connection with a March 14, 2014 fall that her lawyers blamed on an icy patch of snow on a city-owned sidewalk.
Hurley, a Kingston resident, suffered a broken ankle that required surgery and a metal plate and screws to repair. The fall occurred as she walked from a parking lot behind the arena to enter for the state high school basketball tournament games that day.
The lawsuit names as defendants the city of Glens Falls and two companies that managed the arena at the time, Global Spectrum and Comcast Spectacor. It does not seek a specific amount of compensation, but alleges that the defendants did not properly maintain the property, leading to the plaintiff’s injury.
The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court denied an appeal by lawyers for Glens Falls and former operators of the arena of a decision by state Supreme Court Justice Martin Auffredou last year that upheld the lawsuit. Counsel for the city had sought to dismiss the lawsuit, but Auffredou ruled it should stand and proceed to trial.
The appeal centered on whether the defendants “maintained its property in a reasonably safe condition and that it did not create the alleged dangerous condition.” It had snowed March 12-13, and the packed snow on which Hurley was said to have fallen was apparently made slippery by equipment that cleared the parking lot.
Matthew Kelly, a lawyer for the defendants, wrote that Hurley was walking in a “restricted area” and there was a clear path for her to use. The icy snow on which she slipped had been salted, as pictures showed.
The Appellate Division did not find sufficient basis to reverse Auffredou’s ruling, however.
“The operations manager acknowledged that there was snow on the property on the date of the accident but stated that he was unable to recall whether he performed any snow removal,” Appellate Division Justice Sharon Aarons wrote. “He further testified that he did not undertake any kind of inspection process to ensure that the sidewalks were clear of snow and ice, nor were there any guidelines for him to do so.”
Lawyers for the defendants could seek to appeal to the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, but it was unclear Friday whether they would.
No trial date has been set.