Small Defect to Rise Landowner Liability in New York

In Argenio v. Metropolitan Transportation Authority, 277 AD2d 165, 166, 716 N.Y.S.2d 657 (1st Dept. 2000), the First Department held that "there is no per se rule with respect to the dimensions of a defect that will give rise to liability on the part of a landowner or other party in control of premises , and even a trivial defect may constitute a snare or trap." Furthermore, "the presence of an edge with poses a tripping hazard renders the defect nontrivial." The Argenio Court further held that even a defect as small as 1/4" deep is a sufficient size to trap a plaintiff. See, Id. In denying summary judgment, the Argenio Court held that "The location of the depression in a heavily traveled pedestrian walkway renders observation of the defect less likely ." Argenio, 277 AD2d at 166.