HKMP PREVAILS ON APPEAL IN
NEW YORK PREMISES LIABILITY CASE
July 15, 2020
We hope everyone enjoyed their 4 th of July holiday and is doing well as we navigate these times. In contrast to our ongoing, hot and humid summer which is hopefully killing the Coronavirus COVID -19, we thought we would bring you a chilly change of pace by alerting you to this New York Appellate decision in which Hardin Kundla McKeon & Poletto prevailed in a case involving ice removal on a commercial parking lot. Ah, ice and snow, it seems so long ago !

On June 24, 2020, HKMP attorney Eric J. Koplowitz successfully defeated a plaintiff’s appeal in the New York Appellate Division, Second Department, when the Appellate Court affirmed the trial court order granting the HKMP clients’ summary judgment motion regarding ice removal on a commercial parking lot.

The plaintiff sustained significant injuries when she slipped and fell on ice on the school parking lot where she was employed. Plaintiff sued the HKMP clients, the premises owner which leased the premises to plaintiff’s employer, and the not-for-profit company which provided services to developmentally disabled individuals which shared a close relationship with plaintiff’s employer. Factually, the not-for-profit company had a contract with plaintiff’s employer to provide numerous services, including payroll and human resources. The evidence also demonstrated the not-for-profit company arranged for and performed maintenance/repairs at the premises.

The New York Supreme Court granted the HKMP summary judgment motions on the basis that the premises owner was an out-of-possession landlord with no duty to clear the premises of snow and ice, and that the not-for-profit company owed no duty to the plaintiff. Plaintiff appealed the trial court order which granted summary judgment to the not-for-profit company arguing the not-for-profit company owed a duty to her under the Espinal line of cases because it entirely displaced her employer’s duty to maintain the premises safely.

On appeal, the Appellate Division, Second Department, agreed with HKMP’s arguments that, although the not-for-profit company performed maintenance and repairs at the premises, such services were not  so comprehensive and exclusive as to entirely displace plaintiff’s employer’s duty to maintain the property in a safe condition.

If you have any questions regarding this New York Appellate decision or would like to discuss it further, please do not hesitate to contact Hardin Kundla McKeon & Poletto at www.hkmpp.com. 
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