The Boardwalk is not a Sidewalk (NY)

In Stoloyvitskaya v Dennis Boardwalk, LLC, plaintiff was walking on the boardwalk in Coney Island and tripped and fell due to a defective condition in the boardwalk. The boardwalk was directly situated between the premises owned by the aptly named Dennis Boardwalk LLC, and the beach. Plaintiff thus sued both the owner of the abutting property and the City of New York, but ultimately, the trial court granted the property owner summary judgment.

The Second Department affirmed the trial court’s decision that the property owner had no duty to maintain the abutting boardwalk under Section 7-210 of the Administrative Code, also commonly known as the “Sidewalk Law.” While the Sidewalk Law generally shifted sidewalk maintenance duties to abutting property owners, it only applied to sidewalks, defined under the Administrative Code as “that portion of a street between the curb lines, or the lateral lines of a roadway, and the adjacent property lines, but not including the curb, intended for the use of pedestrians.” As the boardwalk where the plaintiff fell did not abut a roadway, the property owner established that the boardwalk was not a sidewalk under the Sidewalk Law and was thus entitled to summary judgment.

Thanks to Jung Lee for his contribution to this post.  If you would like further information please write to mbono@wcmlaw.com.