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New York Partners Prevail for Landlord Following Tenant’s Employee’s Fall from Ladder

New York City Partners Nadia Del Toro and John V. Barbieri recently obtained summary judgment in the Supreme Court of New York, Queens County on behalf of our building owner/landlord client.

Plaintiff was an employee of the commercial tenant leasing space from our client to use as a restaurant. While working, Plaintiff was descending the ladder that was placed in the restaurant by his employer. After having accessed loft space to service the restaurant, Plaintiff fell from the ladder and sustained serious spinal injuries. Subsequently, Plaintiff filed suit against our client for his injuries.

Our attorneys Nadia and John moved for summary judgment, seeking dismissal of Plaintiff’s claims on the grounds that our client was an out of possession landlord who was not bound by contract or conduct to maintain the subject premises­—more specifically, the non-structural ladder. Plaintiff argued that the ladder was structural because it led to a loft space that was part of a build-out created by our client’s tenant. Plaintiff also argued that the client was not an out of possession landlord.

In September 2023, the Court agreed with our attorneys that the ladder was not structural and that our client is an out of possession landlord who is not responsible for the ladder’s maintenance. The Court granted summary judgment in favor of our client.

Nadia handles high-exposure New York Labor Law and general liability cases for primary and excess insurance carriers. She has extensive litigation experience in New York state courts, as well as in mediating complex cases involving multiple corporate parties.

John has extensive experience in all aspects of personal injury, property damage, construction liability and insurance defense litigation. He concentrates his practice on labor law, premises and products liability, medical and non-medical professional liability, and insurance coverage.

New York Attorney Andrew W. Padover also contributed to this matter.