The Court of Appeals Will Review the Second Department’s Expansion of Liability of Commercial Owners and Managing Agents for the Negligence of their Independent Contractors

In Pesante v Vertical Indus. Dev. Corp., 2016 NY Slip Op 05854 (2d Dep’t August 24, 2016), the Second Department greatly expanded liability of commercial property owners and managing agents for the negligence of their independent contractors. It was not clear from the one page decision whether the Court was aware of the far reaching consequences of what it had done. Recently, the Second Department granted a motion for leave to appeal. The matter is now on its way to the Court of Appeals. In Pesante, the plaintiff claimed he was walking with a friend in a parking lot owned by the Vertical Industrial Development Corp. (“Vertical”) and managed by Rentar Development Corp. (“Rentar”), when she was struck by a remote-controlled toy car. The parking lot was patrolled by the employees of the owner’s independent security contractor. There was testimony that immediately prior to the accident, the security guard was…Read More