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  Premises Liability/Personal Injury

Dorfman v. Mid-Town Realty Corp, New York Supreme Court and Appellate Division, First Department, involved a claim by plaintiff to recover for injuries she allegedly sustained when she became stuck in an elevator. Mid-Town Realty Corp. moved for summary judgment seeking common law indemnity from Serge Elevator Company on the grounds that Serge had an exclusive full service maintenance contract to maintain and repair the elevators and that a Serge mechanic did not immediately respond to the call of a passenger being stuck in the elevator. In response, Serge argued that the contract was not an exclusive contract since the contract specifically reserved to Mid-Town management and control over the elevator when Serge was not working in or about the equipment. Moreover, Serge argued that the contract specifically provided that Serge was not responsible for the erratic operation of the car doors or leveling at landings. The court found that those clauses in the contract made it inconclusive as to Mid-Towns right to look to Serge for performance of its duty to plaintiff.

The case then proceeded to trial where it was settled for a nominal sum.