The First Department determined the defendant landlord could not be held liable for the failure to ensure a smoke detector was functional:
In this action where plaintiff alleges that he was injured as a result of a fire in his apartment due to defendant building owner’s negligent failure to provide an operable smoke detector, defendant demonstrated prima facie that he satisfied his statutory duty to provide a functional smoke detector in the apartment, and accordingly, the obligation to maintain the smoke detector was assumed by plaintiff (see Administrative Code of City of NY § 27-2045[a], [b], ).
Plaintiff’s argument that defendant voluntarily assumed a duty to ensure his smoke detector was in good working condition by regularly inspecting tenants’ smoke detectors, is unavailing. “Liability under this theory may be imposed only if defendant’s conduct placed plaintiff in a more vulnerable position than he would have been in had defendant done nothing” … . Here, however, plaintiff provided no evidence that he relied on defendant’s inspection of his smoke detector to ensure its functionality, and instead testified that he never saw the building superintendent inspect his smoke detector. Figueroa v Parkash, 2020 NY Slip Op 00525, First Dept 1-28-20