The Second Department, reversing (modifying) Supreme Court in this slip and fall case, determined 7-Eleven. the lessee of the property abutting the sidewalk where plaintiff allegedly fell, could not be held liable for the allegedly dangerous condition of the sidewalk:
Administrative Code of the City of New York § 7-210(a) imposes a duty upon “the owner of real property abutting any sidewalk . . . to maintain such sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition.” “[A] lessee of property which abuts a public sidewalk owes no duty to maintain the sidewalk in a safe condition, and liability may not be imposed upon it for injuries sustained as a result of a dangerous condition in the sidewalk, except where the abutting lessee either created the condition, voluntarily but negligently made repairs, caused the condition to occur because of some special use, or violated a statute or ordinance placing upon the lessee the obligation to maintain the sidewalk which imposes liability upon the lessee for injuries caused by a violation of that duty” … . Additionally, “[a]s 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” … . Only “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, [may] the tenant . . . be liable to a third party” … . Here, the plaintiff failed to establish, prima facie, that 7-Eleven had any duty to maintain the sidewalk abutting the property it leased. Brady v 2247 Utica Ave. Realty Corp., 2022 NY Slip Op 06100, Second Dept 11-2-22
Practice Point: Under the NYC Administrative Code, the lessee of property abutting a sidewalk is not liable for a slip and fall caused by the condition of the sidewalk if the lessee did not create the condition and did not agree to maintain the sidewalk.