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PREMISES LIABILITY: Plaintiff strikes movie theater’s independent contractor premises liability defense

Plaintiff sought to recover for injuries he allegedly sustained when he tripped over a transition lighting strip at the defendant movie theater. B&E Theater then filed a special defense arguing that plaintiff’s damages were the result of acts or omissions by an independent contractor that B&E had no responsibility for or control over. Plaintiff moved to strike the special defense, arguing that the special defense was inconsistent with the nondelegable duty doctrine in premises liability cases. The plaintiff further argued that the nondelegable duty doctrine is applicable in premises liability cases which hold an owner in possession of the premises liable for any unsafe condition created by an independent contractor employed by the premises owner. The court agreed with the plaintiff, finding that the nondelegable duty doctrine applies to bar an independent contractor defense to negligence and therefore, grants the plaintiff’s motion to strike the special defense. Held v. B&E Theaters LLC, No. FST-CV-19-6043492-S, 2022 WL 6697081 (Conn. Super. Ct. Oct. 5, 2022)