Kurshals v. Connetquot Cent. School Dist.

Decision Date28 May 1996
Citation227 A.D.2d 593,643 N.Y.S.2d 622
CourtNew York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
Parties, 110 Ed. Law Rep. 342 Matthew KURSHALS, etc., et al., Appellants, v. CONNETQUOT CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT, Respondent.

Queller & Fisher, New York City (Bertram D. Fisher and Paul F. McAloon, of counsel), for appellants.

Kroll & Tract, Mineola (Stanley E. Orzechowski, of counsel), for respondent.

Before BALLETTA, J.P., and MILLER, SULLIVAN and COPERTINO, JJ.

MEMORANDUM BY THE COURT.

In an action to recover damages for personal injuries, etc., the plaintiffs appeal from an order of the Supreme Court, Suffolk County (Doyle, J.), dated April 26, 1995, which granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint.

ORDERED that the order is affirmed, with costs.

The 15-year-old plaintiff, Matthew Kurshals, was playing handball when the ball was hit onto the roof of the Peconic Street Junior High School in Ronkonkoma. This plaintiff had attended the school and knew that there were skylights on the roof. When he climbed up to the first level of the roof, he observed the skylights, which were four-foot by four-foot plastic domes. He then climbed up to the second level of the roof, where he stepped on a skylight and fell through to the gym floor below.

A landowner has a duty to exercise reasonable care in maintaining his property in a safe condition under all of the circumstances, including the likelihood of injury to others, the seriousness of the potential injuries, the burden of avoiding the risk, and the foreseeability of a potential plaintiff's presence on the property (see, Basso v. Miller, 40 N.Y.2d 233, 386 N.Y.S.2d 564, 352 N.E.2d 868; Fellis v. Old Oaks Country Club, 163 A.D.2d 509, 558 N.Y.S.2d 183). Encompassed in this duty is a duty to warn of potentially dangerous conditions (see, Basso v. Miller, supra, at 241, 386 N.Y.S.2d 564, 352 N.E.2d 868; Thornhill v. Toys "R" Us NYTEX, 183 A.D.2d 1071, 583 N.Y.S.2d 644). There is, however, no duty to warn against a condition which is readily observable or an extraordinary occurrence, which "would not suggest itself to a reasonably careful and prudent person as one which should be guarded against" (Fellis v. Old Oaks Country Club, supra, at 511, 558 N.Y.S.2d 183).

The skylight was not defective in any way. It was not an unobservable dangerous condition. Rather, it is clear that the accident was the result of the injured plaintiff's misuse of the skylight, which was an...

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    ...469, 469 (2nd Dept.2000); Rovegno v. Church of the Assumption, 268 A.D.2d 576, 576 (2nd Dept.2000); Kurshals v. Connetquot Central School District, 227 A.D.2d 593, 593 (2nd Dept.1996). Specifically, the Basso Court stated that [i]ndeed as the duty was so clearly stated in Smith v. Arbaugh's......
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    ...469, 469 (2nd Dept.2000); Rovegno v. Church of the Assumption, 268 A.D.2d 576, 576 (2nd Dept.2000); Kurshals v. Connetquot Central School District, 227 A.D.2d 593, 593 (2nd Dept.1996). Specifically, the Basso Court stated that [i]ndeed as the duty was so clearly stated in Smith v. Arbaugh's......
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    ...469, 469 (2nd Dept.2000); Rovegno v. Church of the Assumption, 268 A.D.2d 576, 576 (2nd Dept.2000); Kurshals v. Connetquot Central School District, 227 A.D.2d 593, 593 (2nd Dept.1996). Specifically, the Basso Court stated that [i]ndeed as the duty was so clearly stated in Smith v. Arbaugh's......
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    ...the risk, and the foreseeability of a potential plaintiff's presence on the property." Kurshals v. Connetquot Cent. Sch. Dist., 227 A.D.2d 593, 593, 643 N.Y.S.2d 622 (N.Y.App. Div., 2d Dep't 1996); see also Basso v. Miller, 40 N.Y.2d 233, 241, 386 N.Y.S.2d 564, 352 N.E.2d 868 (1976); Galind......
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