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LACKING INDEPENDENCE

Herbert Blatt filed suit after he tripped over a "hazardous condition" created by another independent contractor.

While you aren't usually liable for the acts of an independent contractor, since exceptions to that rule apply, both the Queens County Supreme Court and the Appellate Division, Second Department, thought that dismissal of the personal injury lawsuit was premature.

Whenever the general public is invited into "stores, office buildings and other places of public assembly," the owner of that property has a duty to ensure that the premises are "reasonably safe." Since the defendants couldn't show that the incident hadn't occurred in a public area, or that a duty didn't apply, the case was permitted to continue.

No setting them free?

To view a copy of the Appellate Division's decision, please use this link: Blatt v. L'Pogee, Inc.

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