Submitted: May 2, 2017
BEFORE: HONORABLE PATRICIA A. McCULLOUGH, Judge HONORABLE
ANNE E. COVEY, Judge HONORABLE DAN PELLEGRINI, Senior Judge
E. COVEY, Judge
Stuski (Stuski) appeals from the Philadelphia County Common
Pleas Court's (trial court) April 11, 2016 order granting
the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development (PAID),
CBRE, Inc. (CBRE) and CB Richard Ellis, Inc.'s
(collectively, Defendants) motion for summary judgment
(Motion) and dismissing Stuski's complaint (Complaint)
with prejudice. The sole issue before the Court is whether
the trial court erred by granting summary judgment in
Defendants' favor and dismissing Stuski's Complaint.
After review, we affirm.
was employed by the City of Philadelphia (City) Police
Department's (Police Department) Traffic Division
(Traffic Division). The Traffic Division has offices in what
is known as The Navy Yard (Property), on the second floor of
Building 501, 4500 South Broad Street, Philadelphia. The
City's Department of Public Property (Property
Department) leased the Property's second floor and a
fenced parking lot for the exclusive use of the Traffic
Division's employees (Parking Lot), from PAID pursuant to
a March 29, 2004 Agreement of Lease and general terms and
conditions attached thereto (2004 Lease). On March 8, 2005,
PAID and the City entered into another Agreement of Lease
with appended general terms and conditions for additional
portions of the Property (2005 Lease).
February 9, 2013, at approximately 6:40 a.m., Stuski arrived
for work, parked in the Parking Lot and, as he got out of his
car, slipped and fell on snow and/or ice. Stuski claims that,
as a result of the fall, he suffered injuries and damages. On
November 5, 2014, Stuski filed the Complaint against
Defendants, alleging therein that the Defendants'
negligence and/or carelessness caused his injuries.
See Reproduced Record (R.R.) at 1a-13a. Stuski also
asserted in the Complaint that PAID contracted with CBRE to
provide the property management services at the Property, and
CB Richard Ellis, Inc. was responsible for snow and ice
removal from the Parking Lot. Defendants filed an answer and
new matter to the Complaint, denying Stuski's
allegations. See R.R. at 14a-28a. Stuski
replied to Defendants' new matter. See R.R. at
29a-30a. The parties undertook discovery.
filed the Motion on February 1, 2016, arguing therein that
Defendants did not owe Stuski a duty of care since, under the
2004 Lease and the 2005 Lease, it was the City's
responsibility to remove snow and/or ice from the Parking
Lot. See R.R. at 53a-258a. Stuski filed a response
to the Motion. See R.R. at 259a-292a. On April 11,
2016, the trial court granted the Motion and dismissed
Stuski's Complaint with prejudice. See R.R. at
293a. Stuski appealed to this Court.The trial court filed its
Opinion pursuant to Pennsylvania Rule of Appellate Procedure
1925(a) (1925(a) Opinion), wherein it explained that
Stuski's evidence established that the City, rather than
Defendants, were responsible for snow and/or ice removal from
the Parking Lot at the time of Stuski's fall.
See R.R. at 295a-307a.
in order to prevail in a negligence action under common law,
the plaintiff must establish that: (1) the defendant owed a
duty of care to the plaintiff; (2) that duty was breached;
(3) the breach resulted in the plaintiff's injury; and
(4) the plaintiff suffered an actual loss or damages.
Brown v. Dep't of Transp., 11 A.3d 1054, 1056
(Pa. Cmwlth. 2011). Moreover,
[s]ummary judgment may be granted if the pleadings,
depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on
file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there
is no genuine issue of material fact and that the moving
party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.
Scutella v. Cnty. of Erie, 938 A.2d 521, 526 n.3
(Pa. Cmwlth. 2007). "Summary judgment may be granted
only in those cases where the right is clear and free from
doubt." Laich v. Bracey, 776 A.2d 1022, 1024
(Pa. Cmwlth. 2001). Accordingly, in order for Stuski's
claims against Defendants to survive summary judgment, the
record must, at the very least, establish that Defendants
owed Stuski a duty of care. If no duty was owed, Stuski would
not be entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
argues that the trial court erred by granting Defendants'
Motion because there existed genuine issues of material fact
about whether Defendants owed him a duty of
care. Defendants in the Motion contend that
"[t]he undisputed evidence . . . demonstrates that the
City - not  Defendants - had the duty to remove snow and
ice from the Parking Lot." R.R. at 64a. As the moving
party, "[Defendants have] the burden of proving that
there is no genuine issue of material fact."
Laich, 776 A.2d at 1024.
Defendants support their Motion with the City's 2004
Lease (Motion Ex. F), 2005 Lease (Motion Ex. G), witness
deposition testimony (Motion Exs. B-D, I-K) and December 14,
2004 emails (Motion Ex. H). There is no dispute that the City
leased a portion of the Property from PAID under the 2004
Lease. Section 11.01 of the 2004 Lease specified, in relevant
[The City] shall keep and maintain the entire Leased Premises
in good order, condition, and repair and free of trash and
will not commit waste, nuisance or unreasonable annoyance
(including without limitation, excessive noise, noxious
odors, dust or dirt) to [PAID] or other tenants. [PAID] shall
maintain, repair, and replace all fixtures, equipment,
improvements and systems in the Leased Premises. [The City]
shall reimburse [PAID] for all operation, repair and
maintenance costs associated with its occupancy of the Leased
Premises . . . .
R.R. at 153a (emphasis added). The 2004 Lease defined
"Leased Premises" as
the space in the property known as Building 501, 4500 South
Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA as shown on the plan(s)
attached as Exhibit 'A' to the General Terms [and
Conditions], constituting the entire second floor, . . . a
section in the northeast corner of the ...