Why It's Hard to Hold a Snow Removal Co. Liable in Negligence in NY
If you were under the distinct impression that your slip and fall case is a "homerun" once you learn the identity of the contractor who was hired to perform snow and ice removal at the place you fell, then you are sorely mistaken.
As a New York County trial court recently pointed out in Guiana v. Langdale Owners Corp., the general rule is that an independent contractor - such as the typical snow removal contractor - doesn't owe any duty to a third party that they have no connection to - such as the typical pedestrian.
There are three (3) exceptions to this rule:
"First, where one engaged affirmatively in discharging a contractual obligation launches a force or instrument of harm; second, where the plaintiff has suffered injury as a result of reasonable reliance upon defendant's continuing performance of a contractual obligation; and third, where the contracting party has entirely displaced the other party's duty to maintain the premises safely. (Church v. Callanan Industries, Inc., 99 NY2d 104 )."
For additional information on this topic, please see "Defining a Snow Removal Contractor's Tort Liability Under New York Law."
Category: Slip / Trip and Fall Accidents
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