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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"


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.