Absent a contractual obligation to make repairs or a retention of control over the property, an out-of-possession landlord cannot be held liable for personal injuries sustained on its premises. The Second Department reiterated this principle when affirming the trial court’s decision in Sciammarella v. Manorville Postal Associates, where the plaintiff, a U.S. Postal Service employee sustained personal injuries. Sciammarella fell after stepping into a hole on premises leased by the U.S. Postal Service. Defendant moved for summary judgment and established its prima facie entitlement to summary judgment on the basis that it was an out-of-possession landowner with no control or contractual obligation to maintain the premises.
Thanks to Alison Weintraub for her contribution to this post.