The plaintiff filed a complaint against the defendant for sustaining personal injury due to a trip and fall accident. The plaintiff tripped and fell while walking on the sidewalk near the premises of the defendant. According to the complaint, plaintiff accuses the defendant of negligence for allowing the defect to remain on the sidewalk. The plaintiff alleges that the sidewalk has an uneven portion thus making it unsafe for anyone who passes by.
The plaintiff was a taxi driver who tripped on the alleged defective sidewalk and fractured his arm. The defendants were the owners of the building. Therefore, they also own the sidewalk within the building premises.
According to the statement of the plaintiff, he was just walking along the sidewalk near the building when he tripped on an uneven part of the sidewalk and fell on the ground. The plaintiff cited the tenants of the building as the negligent parties since they did not do anything to the sidewalk even though it had a defect.
The defendant contested the allegations of the plaintiff and said that the tenants of the building should not be held responsible since they did not cause the defect on the sidewalk. They also do not know of any law that was broken which delegated the tenants of the building to maintain and repair any defects found on the sidewalk.
The tenants also asserted that they are not covered by the city administrative code which states that the owner of the physical property was required to maintain and ensure the safety of the sidewalk. Since the tenants are not the owners of the property, they are not required to maintain and ensure the safety of the sidewalk. The tenants have submitted lease agreements as proof that they did not own the building in question. The plaintiff had no evidence that the tenants created the defect on the sidewalk. The plaintiff also could not establish that the tenants made any existing defect even worse.
The counsel for the plaintiff has said the original lease agreement was not submitted in this case. The plaintiff has also declared that no sufficient proof was presented to support the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. The defendant provided only an affidavit from the legal counsel.
The co-defendant in this case is the owner of the building. The owner affirms that the motion for summary judgment was still premature. The building owner wants to know more about how the accident happened. The counsel of the building owner has declared that there may be more vital information which the plaintiff might have if the motion to dismiss the case was denied.
According to the provisions of the law, an abutting owner of a property should not have any liability for injuries sustained by someone who was just passing by on a defective sidewalk. The owner will only be liable for damages if the owner has caused the defect either by making special use of the sidewalk.
The administrative code of the city provides the responsibility to maintain and repair sidewalks on the property owners. Liability is also imposed on the abutting owners if any of them violates the statute and causes a breach of duty.
In this regard, the court finds that the tenant can only be liable to damages if it was the owner of the property. Despite the existence of these provisions, the defendant has failed to establish sufficient evidence since only a counsel affidavit was presented to the court. The defendant also failed to get the testimony of a witness or a person who knows the information. The affidavit is not considered by law as sufficient basis for summary judgment.
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