STARBUCKS GOT OUT OF THIS GRIND
After tripping on what was described as a defective sidewalk, a personal-injury case was filed against Parkchester Property Management, (the property owner), and Starbucks Corp, (its tenant), in the Bronx County Supreme Court.
When the judge assigned to the matter declined the coffee-seller’s request to be dismissed from the case, it appealed to the Appellate Division, First Department, which was of the view that the court below had made a reversible error.
Local law [Administrative Code of the City of New York § 7-201] provides that, “It shall be the duty of the owner of real property abutting any sidewalk … to maintain such sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the owner of real property abutting any sidewalk ... shall be liable for any injury to property or personal injury … proximately caused by the failure of such owner to maintain such sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition.”
Since that language “unambiguously imposes liability upon defendant Parkchester for failure to repair the alleged defect in the sidewalk,” and because “that duty ‘is an affirmative, non-delegable obligation’” which “remains exclusively with the landlord,” the AD1 thought the court below should have granted Starbucks dismissal request -- particularly given the fact that the lease did not require the tenant to address or repair sidewalk defects.
How does that saying go? "Coffee in, coffee out?"
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