The Second Department, reversing (modifying) Supreme Court in this premises liability case, determined the sole member of the LLC (Romanoff) which owned the premises was not liable, but there was a question of fact whether the LLC had constructive knowledge of the defective railing which collapsed when plaintiff leaned on it:
… [T]he plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact. Romanoff, as a member of the LLC, cannot be held liable for the company’s obligations by virtue of that status alone … , and the plaintiff failed to adduce evidence as to the existence of circumstances that would entitle him to pierce the corporate veil to impose personal liability on Romanoff … .
… [T]he Romanoff defendants failed to establish, prima facie, that the LLC did not have constructive notice of the alleged hazardous condition … . In support of their motion, the Romanoff defendants submitted … evidence that the porch railing that collapsed had not been physically inspected in the eight months following the purchase of the premises. They also failed to demonstrate that the alleged dangerous condition of the porch railing was latent and not discoverable upon a reasonable inspection. … [T]he Romanoff defendants relied upon the plaintiff’s deposition testimony that, as he leaned onto the railing to shake dust out of a blanket, he felt the railing move as soon as he made contact with it, and it did not appear to be attached to anything. Hayden v 334 Dune Rd., LLC, 2021 NY Slip Op 04481, Second Dept 7-21-21