Mr. Dondes represented a married couple who owned a home in Franklin Square, LI. Plaintiff alleged she tripped and fell on a rock on the sidewalk in front of their home and injured her shoulder for which she underwent two surgeries. Plaintiff claimed the rock came from a rock garden on their property adjacent to their driveway. Plaintiff’s daughter, who lived on the same block, testified she saw rocks on the sidewalk regularly which she believed got there because our clients would routinely park their cars in the rock garden causing rocks to be spew out when the cars pulled in and out.
We argued that at best these rocks amounted to pebbles or gravel and were not dangerous. Our client testified he walked his property daily cleaning up any garbage and that he never observed gatherings of rocks on the sidewalk. Both husband and wife testified that they never parked cars on the rocks. The wife established her car couldn’t have been present at the home at times plaintiff’s daughter claimed it was parked on the rock bed. They testified they never received a complaint from a neighbor or notice from the town about the upkeep of the rock garden. The jury deliberated about 20 minutes and returned with a defense verdict.