Divine Slip and Fall: Court Rejects Fallen Wire of Jewish Eruv as Dangerous Condition

eruvThere is an interesting slip and fall case out of New York. Peggy Egar alleged that injured on March 31, 2003 at 12:00 P.M., when she tripped and fell down at the ramp of the Hospital’s teaching center located at 327 Beach 19th Street, Far Rockaway, New York. Despite an incident the prior year, the court found that there was no constructive notice that the eruv constituted a dangerous condition.

A community Eruv refers to the “mixture” under Jewish religious property law of separate parcels of property to be considered a single piece of property to allow Jews to carry children and belongings anywhere within the jointly held property. The Eruv has been the subject of litigation before and is found in major cities ranging from New York City to Jerusalem.

The court ruled:

A plaintiff in a slip-and-fall case must demonstrate that the defendant created the condition which caused the accident, or that the defendant had actual or constructive notice of the condition (Kraemer v K-Mart Corp., 226 AD2d 590 [1996]). To constitute constructive notice, a defect must be visible and apparent and it must exist for a sufficient length of time prior to the accident to permit defendant’s employees to discover and remedy it (Gordon v American Museum of Natural History, 67 NY2d 836 [1986]). Thus, in the absence of proof as to how long the eruv wire was on the ramp, there is no evidence to permit an inference that the Congregation or Hospital defendants had constructive notice of the condition (see Kershner v Pathmark Stores, Inc., 280 AD2d 583 [2001]; McDuffie v Fleet Fin. Group, 269 AD2d 575 [2000]; Maguire v Southland Corp., 245 AD2d 347 [1997]).

For the opinion, click here

Kudos to the Religion Clause blog.

9 thoughts on “Divine Slip and Fall: Court Rejects Fallen Wire of Jewish Eruv as Dangerous Condition”

  1. Please do not tell me that there is only a 1% increase in prices to make up for frivilous lawsuits.

    My wife was pulling out of a blind spot in a parking garage at 1-2 mph at the most last year. The spot was against a wall and she TAPPED a guy on a bike’s front tire. there was no damage to the bike, the guy wasnt knocked to the ground, and in fact laughed about it when my wife who was stressed out gave him our insurance info. Two days later the guy got a lawyer and tried to sue us. our insurance went up about 65% and they fought and won in court showing that the parking garage was negligent in placing a spot next to the wall and caused the hazardous conditions which led to the accident. When they refused to lower our insurance back down and we left they reported an at fault accident and so began the nightmare that was trying to get insured at a reasonable rate. We had to hire an attourney at our own expense to fight the insurance company (I can’t even say the name of the company per my lawyer, as he tells me I could be sued for slander for making accusations before the case is settled).

    So please dont tell me that this is not an overly letigious society and that all of the other frivilous lawsuits havent raised my insurance rates in the past either. I have a perfect driving record and so does my wife, but our rates seemed to go up all the time even prior to this nightmare.

  2. Korn,
    It would be helpful in the future if you actually had minimal understanding of the topics you comment on, rather than something you heard on Rush. It would make it ever so nice to be able to disagree with someone, who has the wit to at least make the disagreement interesting. “Tort Reform” as pushed by the Republican Party simply means let our wealthy corporations do whatever they want and forget about those they hurt in the process.

  3. Mespo,
    Well done, but I doubt that this latest incarnation of trolls will be concerned with the facts. He/she has his/her marching orders and nothing will stand in the way of fulfilling that neacon duty. Not even the facts.

  4. mespo-
    I like your OT better than Korn’s rant and your (probably fruitless) attempt to educate him.

    Looks like the polar bears have already been to the party – at least this is what a lot of guests look like when the party’s over and the host is trying to get them off his couch and out the door. Happy Earth Day!

  5. korn:

    How about this rant: The cost of tort litigation adds a whopping 1.8 percent to the costs of goods in this Country as determined by that great friend of plaintiffs George W. Bush via his Council of Economic Advisers. That figure was echoed by the admitted flawed Tillinghast-Towers Perrin Study which again was financed by that other great benefactor of plaintiffs, the insurance industry. While that study did measure the costs of litigation it did not credit it with its primary benefit namely the reduction death and injuries and the associated medical costs. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the costs of direct payments to be 1.02 percent, but let’s take the figures more favorable to your side. Here’s the information if you wants facts to base your opinions on. To this point your brain seems fueled by talking points:


  6. I wrote: “Oh, sure, I will hear the rant “everybody despises attorneys until they need one”. That argument is hollow as long as we don’t have a loser pay court system.”

    That didn’t take long did it. I got a list of five or six reasons from a clown that calls himself Anonymously why I would be entitled to maybe a million dollars (oops, the attorney would get 35% so the million is $650,000) at a cost to society of enouraging even more litigation every time soneone trips & falls.

    YOU DON”T GET IT DO YOU! Society cannot AFFORD paying up millions for life’s eventual and predictable accidents that befall virtually all of us. GOOD LORD WAKE UP!

    At some point the pot runs out of money.

  7. Korn,

    Have you ever been beaten by a Police Officer? How would you feel if your child died from a Drunk doctor charged with her surgical care? How about a Drunken city bus driver? what about if you were driving down the road paying attention to all of the traffic signal and an officer was engaged in a High-Speed pursuit and failed to turn its light and sirens on? You had the right away at the intersection!

    How about you bought your dream house. You are asleep and a fire suddenly breaks out. The house is a total mess and the fire Marshall cannot figure out how the fire started?

    It is a choice between, negligent construction, you started the fire because you have a bad credit rating and are having difficulty paying the mortgage, or you got drunk and passed out and ended up in the hospital where you had no ideal how the fire started. While you are in the hospital you develope an infection because of the hospitals negligence after EMS dropped you off of the gurney and they failed to realize you had a latent COPD and you nearly die? Who in your mind should be liable?

    All of these are cases that I have handled. What would be your feelings on these issues?

  8. Maybe there is still hope that someday the price of everything we buy won’t be inflated by the cost of huge insurance premiums or direct losses from the multitude of attorneys out there making their living, and our life hell, suing everybody.

    Oh, sure, I will hear the rant “everybody despises attorneys until they need one”. That argument is hollow as long as we don’t have a loser pay court system.

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