We’ve heard of highways feeling like parking lots at rush hour, but a parking lot is now a highway?
When Margaret Groninger, a Mamaroneck High School teacher, slipped and fell on the ice in the municipal parking lot in Mamaroneck, she wanted to sue. But the New York State Court of Appeals said no Thursday, ruling in favor of the Village, because that lot “serves the functional purpose of a highway.”
The Village says it “did not receive prior notice about the defect,” nor caused the ice, and therefore cannot be sued.
Groninger tells theLoop, ” I have never sued anyone/thing before and was really queasy about this suit–that parking lot was impassable that day and my ankle injury –requiring pins and plates has definitely altered the way I do things. It was(my son’s, then 3 yrs old, now 9) first and, I hope, only ambulance ride! (I was taking him to the Emelin for The Very Hungry Catepillar.)”
Groninger’s side says state law lists only six municipal locations that require advance notice of defects: sidewalks, crosswalks, streets, highways, bridges and culverts.
Four judges say this parking lot serves the “functional purpose” of a highway, “open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.”
Three dissenting judges say that’s so obviously untrue “as hardly to merit serious discussion.” But they lost.
Be careful out there.