U.S. Third Circuit - The FindLaw 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Decision re Retailer's Common Law Duty in Multi-Tenant Parking Lot Injury

In Holmes v. Kimco Realty Corp., No. 08-4834, the court dealt with the issue of a tenant's common law duty to maintain a multi-tenant parking lot, in a plaintiff's suit against a retailer for injuries when he fell on the snow in the parking lot. 

As stated in the decision: "The signs at the entrance to the lot identify multiple tenants, not just Lowe's.  While a Lowe's customer will undoubtedly park as close as possible to that store, he could park anywhere in the lot."  Also stated in the decision: "Imposition of a duty on tenants in a multi-tenant facility also would lead to uncertainty with respect to the areas of the parking lot for which each tenant is responsible."

Thus, although the issue has not yet been addressed by the New Jersey state high court, the court predicted that the state would not impose a duty on an individual tenant for snow removal from the common areas of a multi-tenant parking lot when the landlord retains and exercises that responsibility. 

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