Defective Kitchen Cabinet Injured Tenant's Visitor
LVT Number: #22719
Tenant's friend sued landlord for negligence, claiming that landlord was responsible for her injuries. The friend was injured in tenant's apartment when one of the kitchen cabinet doors came off its hinges while she was putting cups away after dinner. Landlord asked the court to dismiss the case without a trial. The court ruled against landlord, which appealed and won. Landlord can't be held liable for injuries caused by a defective condition unless it either created the condition or was notified about it directly or indirectly. Tenant's friend didn't claim that landlord created the condition. In pretrial questioning, landlord's employee stated that tenant never complained about the kitchen cabinet door. Landlord also had conducted a lease renewal inspection about eight months before the accident. The report contained no statement from either the inspector or tenant about any problem with kitchen cabinets, and tenant signed off on the report. Tenant's friend also had been to the apartment on about 50 prior occasions and never previously noticed loose hinges on the cabinet door.
Nelson v. Cunningham Associates LP: NYLJ, 10/12/10, p. 28, col. 2 (App. Div. 2 Dept.; Rivera, JP, Dickerson, Eng, Austin, JJ)