Taubenfeld v. Starbucks Corp – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Taubenfeld v. Starbucks Corp., (48 A.D.3d 310, 851 N.Y.S.2d 512 [1st Dept 2008]), decided after Administrative Code section 7-210 was enacted, the Court found that a plaintiff who tripped over a protruding root in a tree well, while swerving to avoid a crowd in front of defendant's establishment, could not recover" against the defendant in negligence.

The Court found that the use that defendant made of the sidewalk by placing tables and chairs outside "did not extend beyond the tables and chairs to the tree well where plaintiff fell, or to the people on the crowded sidewalk, some walking and others standing around [defendant's] tables chatting, and around whom, plaintiff asserts, she had to walk, diverting her path to the tree well" (id. at 311).