20 A.D.2d 716 (1964)

Walter Ranftle, Respondent, v. City Athletic Club, Appellant

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Second Department.

February 10, 1964

Judgment affirmed, with costs.

Plaintiff, a deliveryman, was injured while descending a dark, exterior stairway leading from the sidewalk to the basement in a building owned by the defendant. The evidence, both oral and photographic, discloses that the third and fourth steps below the level of the sidewalk were "radial" in design; that they were of extremely shallow width at the left-hand side of the stairwell; and that they fanned out into an arc of broader dimensions on the right-hand side of the stairwell. At the time of the accident the stairway was neither illuminated nor equipped with a handrail to guide a person using such stairway. In our opinion, the record discloses evidence from which a jury could reasonably conclude that the stairway, as constructed and maintained, constituted a condition of unsusual hazard or peculiar danger so as to impose upon the defendant the duty of taking proper precautions to prevent an accident (cf. Wayman v. Fulder, 282 N.Y. 730; Galligan v. Druidan Real Estate Co., 266 N.Y. 445; Gilcher v. McNulty Bros. Realty Co., 269 App. Div. 844, affd. 295 N.Y. 743). A jury question was, therefore, presented as to whether the defendant violated the common-law duty which it owed to the plaintiff as a business invitee. We are also of the opinion that the issue of plaintiff's freedom from contributory negligence was properly submitted to the jury as a question of fact (Kallus v. Wallach, 19 A.D.2d 842). With respect to the claimed errors in the charge: In the absence of an exception or request, the Trial Justice's failure to make the charge more explicit cannot be regarded as reversible error (Brown v. Du Frey, 1 N.Y.2d 190; Harrington v. Kedem Realty Corp., 13 A.D.2d 1027; cf. CPLR 4017, 5501, subd. [a], par. 3).


1000 Characters Remaining

Leagle.com reserves the right to edit or remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

User Comments

Listed below are the cases that are cited in this Featured Case. Click the citation to see the full text of the cited case. Citations are also linked in the body of the Featured Case.

Cited Cases

  • No Cases Found

Listed below are those cases in which this Featured Case is cited. Click on the case name to see the full text of the citing case.

Citing Cases