In this matter, plaintiff filed a Complaint alleging that she tripped and fell on a sidewalk sustaining personal injuries. The sidewalk in question was adjacent to a store operated by our client (“tenant”) and owned by the co-defendant property owner (“property owner”).

Attorney Gina Wisniewski moved the Court to dismiss the plaintiff’s Complaint by Motion for Summary Judgment. She argued that her client/tenant had no duty to maintain the sidewalk as the tenant’s lease agreement with the property owner did not include the sidewalk as part of the demised premises. Additionally, Ms. Wisniewski argued that the property owner’s managing member testified that the sidewalk was a common area that was the property owner’s sole duty to maintain under the terms of the lease.

Plaintiff’s attorney argued that tenants have a common-law duty to maintain the property that they occupy.

In a Decision and Order issued by the Hon. Linda J. Kevins, Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice, the Court agreed with Ms. Wisniewski in that there was no common-law duty for our client/tenant as the lease agreement with the property owner does not include the sidewalk as part of the tenant’s demised property and, without a duty there is not a breach and without a breach, there is no liability.

Gina T. Wisniewski

Gina is a litigator, representing individuals, local businesses, and national corporations primarily in the areas of retail, hospitality, trucking and transportation, construction, and professional liability in state, federal, and appellate courts throughout New York State.

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