The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined defendant, a tenant in the building abutting the sidewalk, could not be held liable for a sidewalk defect which allegedly caused plaintiff’s slip and fall. The Second Department concisely but completely laid out the law on the issues:
Pursuant to Administrative Code of the City of New York § 7-210(a), “the owner of real property abutting any sidewalk” has a duty “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, including death, proximately caused by the failure of such owner to maintain such sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition” … . “As a general rule, the provisions of a lease obligating a tenant to repair the sidewalk do not impose on the tenant a duty to a third party” … . “However, where a lease agreement is so comprehensive and exclusive as to sidewalk maintenance as to entirely displace the landowner’s duty to maintain the sidewalk, the tenant may be liable to a third party” … .
Here, the defendant established its prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by demonstrating that it did not create the alleged defect, make special use of the sidewalk, violate any applicable statute, or have a contractual duty to maintain the sidewalk where the accident occurred … . Leitch-Henry v Doe Fund, Inc., 2020 NY Slip Op 00112, Second Dept 1-8-20