The Defendants, Lessees of the Property Abutting the Sidewalk, Demonstrated in their Summary Judgment Motion that there Was No Statute or Ordinance Imposing Liability on Lessees for Failure to Clear Snow and Ice from the Sidewalk, But the Defendants Did Not Affirmatively Demonstrate They Did Not Make the Condition More Hazardous by their Snow Removal Efforts—Therefore the Summary Judgment Motion Must Be Denied Without Reference to the Answering Papers
The Second Department determined defendants, who leased the premises abutting a sidewalk in Brooklyn, were not entitled to summary judgment dismissing a “snow and ice” slip and fall complaint. The defendants demonstrated that there was no statute or ordinance imposing tort liability. However the defendants failed to affirmatively demonstrate that their snow removal efforts did not make conditions more hazardous (another example of the need for a defendant bringing a summary judgment motion to address every possible theory of liability):
” The owner or lessee of property abutting a public sidewalk is under no duty to remove ice and snow that naturally accumulates upon the sidewalk unless a statute or ordinance specifically imposes tort liability for failing to do so'” … . “In the absence of a statute or ordinance imposing tort liability on the lessee, it can be held liable only if it, or someone on its behalf, undertook snow and ice removal efforts which made the naturally-occurring conditions more hazardous” … .
Here, the … defendants, as lessees of the property, established that no statute or ordinance imposed tort liability on them (cf. Administrative Code of City of NY 7-210 [applicable to owners of real property]). However, they failed to make a prima facie showing that there were no efforts to clear the sidewalk on the date of the injured plaintiff’s accident or that any snow and ice removal efforts undertaken by them or by persons on their behalf did not exacerbate the hazardous condition which allegedly caused the injured plaintiff to fall … . Forlenza v Miglio, 2015 NY Slip Op 05639, 2nd Dept 7-1-15