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Pitaresi v. Appello

Decided: January 8, 1952.

ROSE PITARESI, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
GRACE APPELLO, EXECUTRIX, ETC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS



Proctor, J.s.c.

Proctor

For the purpose of expediting the trial of the above cause, by settling in advance whether the plaintiffs have a cause of action, it was agreed that the plaintiffs' attorney would make the following opening to the court:

"On November 2nd, 1948, defendant was the owner of premises designated as No. 199 Eighth Street in Hoboken, New Jersey.

At 2:45 P.M. during the hours of daylight (between sunrise and sunset) on a dreary dismal day, plaintiff had visited a relative, a tenant, who resided on the second floor of the premises.

The apartment visited was one of several in the premises, which were four stories in height and constituted a tenement house.

There were no defects in the halls or stairways.

The only ground upon which plaintiffs predicate liability is that the hall of the second floor and the upper portion of the stairway were dark, but despite this fact there was no light burning in the hall on the second or first floors although fixtures for lighting were maintained on both floors and the defendant occupied an apartment in said premises.

The hall in question was so dark that a person could not read any document.

The building was erected prior to March 25th, 1904 (testimony as to this fact could be supplied by a representative of the City building department.)

Although there is no opinion on file with the Tenement House Board that the halls and stairs are not sufficiently lighted so that lights should have been kept burning during daylight hours, an inspector of the Board will testify that he inspected the hall on the second floor, that same was so dark that he could not read without artificial light and that he had to grope his way from the second floor landing to the upper portion of the stairway leading therefrom to avoid falling.

On November 2nd, 1948, at 2:45 P.M., plaintiff, Rose Pitaresi, who had visited the apartment of her relative on many previous occasions, left this apartment, leaving the door open behind her. The distance from the doorway to the first step of the descending stairway is very short.

Said plaintiff found the hall, landing and stairway obscured in darkness. She had with her no matches or other equipment to furnish artificial light. She attempted to locate the first step and railing, with the location of which she was previously familiar and in so doing, because of the aforesaid darkness, she missed ...


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