Nicholas Vevante and Michael J. Lezamiz, associates in ADM’s Albertson and New York City offices, obtained Summary Judgment in a catastrophic deck collapse case, which allegedly resulted in injuries to six (6) plaintiffs. ADM represented the owner of the subject home/deck, who had the deck installed over 20 years prior to the accident. The home was then leased to a tenant shortly after.
Mr. Vevante moved for Summary Judgment at the conclusion of discovery, arguing that its client had no duty to maintain while the client remained an out of possession landlord. The plaintiffs' opposition included an expert affidavit from an engineer who inspected the deck following the accident and opined that it was caused to collapse due to the client’s negligence, that the deck was negligently designed, and that the client ought to have continued to maintain the deck throughout the tenancy.
At oral argument, Mr. Lezamiz argued that plaintiffs' arguments pertaining to continued maintenance of the deck and improper design were all irrelevant as the client was an out of possession landlord, and therefore had no duty to maintain the subject deck.
The Court ultimately granted the Motion and dismissed the entirety of the action against our clients upon a finding that the client was not negligent as a matter of law. The Court specifically agreed with Mr. Lezamiz and Mr. Vevante, and found that the client was, in fact, an out of possession landlord.