Glens Falls, Arena Managers Win Lawsuit in Fall Case

RWGM attorney Matthew “Jim” Kelly garnered a win for defendant Glens Falls Civic Center in a case involving a woman suing the Civic Center for an injury she sustained when she fell while walking to the Arena. Below is the full story as it appeared in the Glens Falls Post Star by Don Lehman, Reporter:

QUEENSBURY — The city of Glens Falls and the former management of the Cool Insuring Arena were exonerated last week when a lawsuit against them over a woman’s injury while walking to the arena went to trial.

A state Supreme Court jury found in favor of the city and arena management companies Global Spectrum and Comcast Spectacor after a one-week trial before Justice Martin Auffredou, deciding that the city and management kept the grounds in “reasonably safe” condition the day in question.

The trial stemmed from a lawsuit filed by Kingston resident Lisa Hurley after she broke her ankle in a March 14, 2014 fall that her lawyers blamed on an icy patch of snow on a city-owned property. Her lawyers sought $825,000 during the trial, arguing that she will need additional treatment.

Hurley’s injury required surgery and a metal plate and screws to repair. The fall occurred as she walked from a Glens Falls-owned parking lot behind the arena to enter for the state high school basketball tournament games that day.

Lawyer Matthew “Jim” Kelly, who represented the defendants, said the evidence showed that 9 inches of snow had fallen the day before, but that Hurley chose to try to cut across a parking lot that was not completely clear instead of walking on a sidewalk that had been treated.

He said jurors asked for a readback of testimony late Friday, and returned the verdict in Glens Falls’ favor a short time later.

“They paid attention and found that the premises were reasonably safe,” Kelly said. “She had a clear path on the sidewalk.”

An expert in snow removal from North Country Snow & Ice Management in Glens Falls testified on the defendants’ behalf, Kelly said.

The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court denied a motion seeking dismissal by the defendants’ counsel in April, setting the stage for the trial. The appeals court ruled after Auffredou had declined to throw out the case before trial.

Hurley was represented by the Cook, Netter, Cloonan, Kurtz & Murphy, PC law firm of Kingston.