Landlord Not Responsible for Tenant's Injury
LVT Number: #19891
Facts: Tenant, age 71, slipped and fell near a fenced-in area outside the building where tenants placed trash for pick up. For many years, the iron gate around the trash cans had been kept tied back in an open position. For several months before the accident, the gate was kept closed and tenant had to push the gate in. To exit, tenant had to pull the gate in. Because the inside of the gate was lined with heavy wire mesh that was difficult to grip, and there was no doorknob to grasp, tenant reached above her head to pull on the top wrought iron bar of the gate. As she did so on one occasion she fell and broke her wrist. Landlord claimed that it wasn't responsible for tenant's injuries and asked the court to dismiss the case without a trial. The court ruled for landlord. Tenant appealed.
Court: Tenant loses. Tenant didn't show that the lack of a doorknob or handle on the gate was a defect, was dangerous, or violated any law. There was no doorknob on the gate for at least eight years. For four to six months before tenant fell, the gate was kept closed. Tenant knew of this condition and had previously opened and closed the gate with no problem.
Bloom v. Lula Realty Corp.: NYLJ, 9/7/07, p. 35, col. 1 (App. Div. 1 Dept.; Andrias, JP, Saxe, Friedman, Nardelli, Malone, JJ)