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Zittrain Torts Playlist Spring 2018

Julius Strauss, Appellant, v. Belle Realty Company, Defendant, and Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., Respondent.

"The Man Who Tripped Down the Stairs"

Headnote

If a plaintiff is harmed by a public utility's breach of contract to a third-party, should the public utility be liable?

Plaintiff lived in an apartment managed by the defendant realty company. During a blackout caused by the defendant electric-power company, plaintiff was injured while going down stairs located in the apartment's common area. The plaintiff had a contract with the defendant power company for electricity in his apartment unit. However, power to the apartment's common areas was provided under a separate contract between the defendant power company and defendant realty company.