Ayala v. Associated Supermarket
NEW YORK COUNTY
Justice Doris Ling-Cohan
I Building, Irvjoy Partners and Bldg Management (landlords) moved for summary judgment dismissing Ayala's personal injury claim against them. Ayala alleged she slipped and fell on the sidewalk outside the Associated Supermarket, who operated the premises under a lease. Ayala claimed she slipped on a patch of ice on the ground a few steps from Associated's exit, after finishing her shopping. Associated alleged store employees routinely cleaned the sidewalk, including snow and ice, noting a porter cleaned the sidewalk the morning of the incident and there was no ice on the ground. Defendants argued they were out-of-possession landlords, having no responsibility for the premises' condition, or sidewalk, noting Associated performed debris removal and cleaning of the premises and sidewalk. The court found Ayala failed to present any evidence to rebut defendants' showing they were out-of-possession landlords under a lease that transferred responsibility for the premises' maintenance to Associated. It stated the allegedly defective condition of ice on the sidewalk was not the type of structural defect an out-of-possession landlord would be responsible for, entitling landlords to summary judgment dismissing the complaint.