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NY Appellate Division Rules Leaseholder Can Be Responsible for Sidewalk Fall

February 23, 2010

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In Abramson v. Eden Farms Inc., the plaintiff tripped and fell over a cracked portion of the sidewalk abutting a store leased by Eden Farm. The plaintiff brought an action against Eden Farm for the personal injuries she suffered in her fall.
Eden Farm moved for summary judgment arguing that it did not create the alleged defect in the sidewalk and that, as a leaseholder, it did not have a statutory duty to maintain the sidewalk in a reasonable safe condition. The trial court denied the motion and Eden Farms appealed.
Upon appeal, the First Department affirmed the denial of Eden Farms motion. In its decision, the court noted that Eden Farm had ignored the provision of its lease that required Eden Farms to make all repairs and replacements to the sidewalks and curbs adjacent to the store. The First Department also found that there was a legal question whether the lease was “comprehensive and exclusive” that it would have reassigned the landowner's duty to maintain the sidewalk to Eden Farm.
Thanks to Katusia Lundi for her contribution to this post.
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