Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Out of Possession Landlord

            In Sciammarella v. Manorville Postal Associates, 2011 NY Slip Op 06122 (2d Dept.), the plaintiff sustained injuries when she allegedly fell after stepping into a hole in the parking lot of a premises leased to the United States Postal Service by the defendant landlord.  The landlord made a motion for summary judgment seeking to dismiss the complaint.  The landlord’s basis of the motion was that it owned the property, but it was totally out of possession of it, and it was not contractually responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries. 

The Court agreed with the defendant and granted the motion, stating the following: “an out-of-possession landlord may not be liable for injuries occurring on its premises unless it is contractually obligated to perform maintenance and repairs or it has retained control over the premises.”

Salvatore R. Marino, Esq.

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