IGBARA v. VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.

Faride IGBARA, etc., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS, INC., Defendant-Respondent.

Decided: December 23, 2003

NARDELLI, J.P., SAXE, ROSENBERGER, WILLIAMS, FRIEDMAN, JJ. Albert W. Cornachio, III, for Plaintiff-Appellant. Nancy Ledy-Gurren, for Defendant-Respondent.

Order, Supreme Court, New York County (Harold Tompkins, J.), entered December 18, 2002, which granted defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(7), unanimously affirmed, without costs.

Plaintiff's husband was murdered by an individual who, having stolen one of defendant Verizon's vehicles, gained admission to plaintiff's home by representing that he was a Verizon employee. ā€‚ There is no allegation that the assailant was, in fact, a Verizon employee, only that Verizon's negligence in safeguarding its vehicle placed the impostor in a position to harm plaintiff and her husband. ā€‚ Defendant, however, had no relationship with plaintiff and her husband sufficient to support imposing upon it a duty to protect them from the criminal conduct of a third party over whom it had neither supervision nor control (see Hamilton v. Beretta U.S.A. Corp., 96 N.Y.2d 222, 727 N.Y.S.2d 7, 750 N.E.2d 1055; ā€‰Lauer v. City of New York, 95 N.Y.2d 95, 100, 711 N.Y.S.2d 112, 733 N.E.2d 184). ā€‚ Accordingly, the complaint was properly dismissed.