Schurr v. Port Auth. of N.Y. & N.J – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Schurr v. Port Auth. of N.Y. & N.J. (307 AD2d 837, 763 N.Y.S.2d 304 [1st Dept 2003]), the plaintiff "tripped and fell while descending the stairs of a stopped escalator. She attributed the loss of her footing to the uneven spacing of the stopped escalator's risers" (id. at 838).

The Schurr court noted that "the spacing of the stationary escalator risers was open and obvious to any observer reasonably using his or her senses and there is thus no ground to conclude that the risers were not safely traversable in the exercise of ordinary care" (id.)

"There was no showing that the escalator was defective or that its use by pedestrians while stopped violated applicable safety codes or specific code provisions" (id.).

Hence, the Schurr court held that "owner and escalator maintenance company defendants were under no duty to warn of or otherwise protect plaintiff from a condition that posed no reasonably foreseeable hazard" (id).