In Seeley v Merrill and Town of Perrysburg (Supreme Court, Cattaraugus Country), Bouvier attorney George W. Collins, Jr. successfully moved for summary judgement on the issue of liability on behalf of the town of Perrysburg for a claim arising out of a trip and fall on a dilapidated broken and overgrown sidewalk on June 20, 2014 allegedly caused by the improper maintenance and/or design construction by the Town of Perrysburg which it failed to perform necessary repairs or provide proper warnings. Collins successfully argued that there was insufficient evidence that the “sidewalk” in question was constructed or maintained by the Town Clerk or Superintendent of Highways so as to meet the statutory requirements stated in the applicable Town Law. A municipality cannot be held liable for the failure to maintain a reasonably safe condition in an area it does not own or control unless it affirmatively undertakes such a duty. Moreover because the plaintiff tripped on a tree root, the case law states that a land owner will not be help liable for injuries arising from condition on the property that are inherent to the nature of the land and could be reasonably anticipated by those using it. Co-defendant Merrill’s motion for summary judgement was denied.

Index no.: 83498