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Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department
September 1, 2005, Decided; September 1, 2005, Entered
[*712] [**677] Order, Supreme Court, Bronx County (Kenneth L. Thompson, J.), entered July 12, 2004, denying the motion of defendant Otis Elevator Company and the cross motion of defendants Bertelsmann Property, Inc., Insignia/Edward S. Gordon Co., Inc., and Insignia Financial Group, Inc. for summary judgment dismissing the complaint, unanimously reversed, on the law, without costs, the motion and cross motion granted, and the complaint dismissed. The Clerk is directed to enter judgment accordingly.
Plaintiff Carmen Santoni was employed as a legal assistant for a company located on the 38th floor of an office building owned by defendant Bertelsmann Property, Inc. Defendant Otis Elevator Company was responsible for maintaining the elevators in the building. [***2] The elevators were equipped with a motion detector/sensor called an Enhanced Lambda Door Protective Device. This System emits an interconnected series of infrared light beams across the elevator. There was expert testimony that if the light beam is interrupted, the protective device is triggered and the elevator doors immediately stop and retract.
[*713] On September 7, 1999, Carmen Santoni went out to buy lunch with a co-worker. [**678] Upon returning to the building, the two went to take the elevator up to the 38th floor. According to Santoni, both elevator doors opened, and she stepped onto the elevator. Then, the right elevator door began to close, hitting her in the shoulder and knocking her into her co-worker. The left elevator door never closed. Less than half a second later, both elevator doors closed on her right arm, elbow and wrist, and then opened immediately. Santoni did not remember how long the doors remained opened, but they both closed, and the elevator went up to the 38th floor. The elevator bounced a little, and stopped slightly off-level from the landing.
Plaintiffs commenced this action against the owner, the management company, and Otis Elevator for negligent inspection and [***3] maintenance of the elevator. After joinder of issue, Otis moved and the owner and management company cross-moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint and any cross claims insofar as asserted again them. In addition, the cross motion sought, in the alternative, summary judgment as to the issues of common-law and contractual indemnification and breach of contract over and against Otis. In support of dismissing the complaint, defendants submitted evidence that they had no notice of any problem with the elevator Santoni used the day she was injured, and that the elevators were regularly inspected and maintained. The court denied the motions on the ground that "[a] review of the expert affirmations [sic] create [sic] issues of fact, including but not limited to whether Otis properly maintained the subject elevator." The court also denied that branch of the cross motion for indemnification and breach of contract as premature.
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21 A.D.3d 712 *; 800 N.Y.S.2d 676 **; 2005 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8866 ***
Carmen Santoni et al., Respondents, v Bertelsmann Property, Inc., et al., Respondents-Appellants, and Otis Elevator Company, Appellant-Respondent. Index 23284/01
Prior History: [***1] Santoni v Bertelsmann Prop., Inc., 2004 NY App Div LEXIS 10880 (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dep't, Sept. 16, 2004)
elevator, doors, inspection, summary judgment, elevator door, Plaintiffs', defendants'
Civil Procedure, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, General Overview, Opposing Materials, Burdens of Proof, Supporting Materials, Evidence, Testimony, Expert Witnesses