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Peters v. United Refining Company of Pennsylvania

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department


December 31, 2008

DARWIN L. PETERS, JR., ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
UNITED REFINING COMPANY OF PENNSYLVANIA, ET AL., DEFENDANTS. UNITED REFINING COMPANY OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED REFINING COMPANY, COUNTRY FAIR, INC., AND PRIME REALTY II, INC., THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFFS-RESPONDENTS, GORDON B. SCOTT, DOING BUSINESS AS SCOTT'S LAWN & LANDSCAPING SERVICES, THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

Appeal from an order of the Supreme Court, Cattaraugus County (Michael L. Nenno, A.J.), entered April 24, 2008 in a personal injury action. The order, insofar as appealed from, denied the motion of third-party defendant for summary judgment dismissing the third-party complaint.

Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.

This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the Official Reports.

PRESENT: MARTOCHE, J.P., SMITH, CENTRA, GREEN, AND PINE, JJ.

It is hereby ORDERED that the order insofar as appealed from is unanimously reversed on the law without costs, the motion is granted and the third-party complaint is dismissed.

Memorandum

Plaintiffs commenced this action seeking damages for injuries sustained by plaintiff Darwin L. Peters, Jr. when he slippedand fell on ice in a parking lot allegedly owned by defendants-third-party plaintiffs (defendants). Supreme Court erred in denying third-party defendant's motion for summary judgment dismissing the third-party complaint, which sought contribution and indemnification. According to defendants, third-party defendant negligently created or exacerbated a dangerous condition by piling mounds of snow on the perimeter of the property, which then melted and refroze (see generally Espinal v Melville Snow Contrs., 98 NY2d 136, 141-142). Contrary to defendants' contention, the snow removal contract required third-party defendant to plow the snow on the property, not to remove the snow. The provision relied upon by defendants in the contract in support of their contention that third-party defendant was required to remove the snow simply set forth the pricing in the event that third-party defendant was required to clear the snow from the premises by the use of a loader or dump truck. We conclude that third-party defendant met his burden on the motion by establishing that he plowed snow on the property two days before the accident and was not requested in accordance with the contract to apply sand or salt either on that day or on the day of the accident, and defendants failed to raise an issue of fact to defeat the motion (see generally Zuckerman v City of New York, 49 NY2d 557, 562). "[B]y merely plowing the snow, as required by the contract, [third-party] defendant's actions could not be said to have created or exacerbated a dangerous condition' " (Fung v Japan Airlines Co., Ltd., 9 NY3d 351, 361, quoting Espinal, 98 NY2d at 142).

20081231

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