Justice Sallie Manzanet-Daniels


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Plaintiff, a tenant in Plaza Realty’s building, was hurt after being struck by the door of a service elevator, maintained by Infinity. The court refused to submit plaintiff’s claims of res ipsa loquitor or under Multiple Dwelling Law §78 to the jury. It also refused to admit a log concerning the elevator’s maintenance. The court refused to set aside the jury’s finding that neither plaintiff nor Plaza and Infinity negligent. First Department reversed and remanded for new trial. The subject elevator operated via an electric eye that would cause the doors to retract if something was in its path. Infinity’s service manager identified the failure of the elevator’s inner and outer doors to close in tandem as a malfunction. As in Ianotto v. Tishman Speyer Props Inc., 46 AD3d 297, an unexpectedly closing door that fails to detect the presence of someone entering is not the type of event that ordinarily occurs absent negligence. The evidence further showed that nothing plaintiff did or did not do contributed to the accident. Further, plaintiff was prejudiced by the court’s refusal to instruct the jury as to the owner’s nondelegable duty under Multiple Dwelling Law §78, and by its refusal to admit the elevator logbook into evidence as a business record under CPLR 4518(a).