Morlin Asset Management, LP v. Murachanian

Leaseholder whose lease stated he would indemnify the lessor against claims “arising out of, in connection with, or involving the use or occupancy of the leased premises” was not obligated to indemnify lessor against an injury that occurred in the common area (here, the stairs), even though injured party was a worker climbing stairs with a bucket of soapy water to clean the leased premises.  Dentist leased a dental office in a building.  His lease defined the leased premises as the dental office, not including common areas of the building, such as stairways, controlled by the lessor.  The lease also provided that the tenant would indemnify the lessor against claims arising out of, in connection with or involving the use or occupancy of the leased premises.  Held, the indemnity clause did not cover a claim for personal injuries which a worker sustained on a common area stairway.  The injury did not occur in or as a result of use of the leased premises even though the worker was climbing the stairs (with buckets of soapy water) to clean carpets in the leased premises.  That connection with the leased premises was too remote to have been within the contemplation of the parties in agreeing to the indemnity clause. 

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 8 (Grimes, J.); August 8, 2016; 2016 WL 4183782

 

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