Where employer leases parking lot, injured employee cannot sue landlord after fall.
Simon Thwaite attempted to sue Vincenti Court, LLC, and others, after he suffered injury in a fall on his way into his office. He was employed by a company that enjoyed an exclusive lease of the parking lot, and was traversing the lot, on crutches, on his way to work, when he fell. He argued that he fell on ice that resulted from a defect in the building, a pipe that allowed water to drain from the roof of the building on to the asphalt; and that the duty to repair this condition could not be delegated by Vincenti to his employer.
The Court of Appeals rejected Thwaite's claim, holding that his employer had the sole duty to clear ice from the parking lot, since it enjoyed exclusive possession of the lot. Unfortunately, the judges failed to address the building owner's active negligence in failing to repair the known defective roof condition that was rendering the parking lot unsafe. Under the employer's lease with Vincenti, the employer had no right to repair the roof defect. Perhaps the Supreme Court will address this failure of common sense and justice.