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Robinson v. Janay

Decided: June 2, 1969.

E. L. ROBINSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
EDWARD JANAY AND MURIEL JANAY, HIS WIFE, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS AND CROSS-RESPONDENTS, BERGENWOOD CONSTRUCTION CO., A CORPORATION OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, JANAY ELECTRIC COMPANY, A CORPORATION OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, MORSEMERE IRON WORKS, A CORPORATION OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, DEFENDANTS, AND RICH LAN, INC., A CORPORATION OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT AND CROSS-APPELLANT



Goldmann, Kolovsky and Carton. The opinion of the court was delivered by Kolovsky, J.A.D.

Kolovsky

After a trial without a jury in the Law Division, the court ruled in part that (1) Edward Janay and Muriel Janay (Janay), the owners of property known as 22 Bergenwood Road, Fairview, were not entitled to damages from their lessee Rich Lan, Inc. (Rich Lan) by reason of the latter's breach of its covenant to provide and maintain liability insurance coverage for Janay, and (2) that although Rich Lan had the right to recover from Janay the $10,000 deposited by it under a contract for the purchase of the Janay property, interest on that sum would not be awarded it.

Janay appeals from so much of the judgment as embodies the first ruling; Rich Lan cross-appeals from the refusal to allow it interest on the $10,000.

By lease dated July 18, 1963 Janay had leased to Rich Lan, for a term of ten years from October 1, 1963, premises known as 22 Bergenwood Road, Fairview, New Jersey, and the two-story building which the landlords agreed to construct thereon. The premises were to be used by Rich Lan for warehousing textiles and for manufacturing them into finished goods.

The respective obligations of the landlords and tenant of this commercial property and the building constructed for the exclusive use of the tenant are set forth in detail in the lengthy lease. Most of the tenant's covenants, other than its agreement to pay rent, appear in the eight subparagraphs of paragraph 3.

The tenant's obligation to furnish and maintain liability insurance coverage not only for itself but also for the landlords is contained in paragraph 3(f), which provides that the tenant shall:

"(f) Provide, maintain and pay the cost of liability insurance insuring the Landlord and Tenant, as their respective interests may appear, against any and all claims which may be established or made against the Landlord for property damage and for damages which may result from the death of or injury to any person or persons who may be near, in or upon the demised premises during the said term, which said insurance shall be in the amount of $5,000.00 for property damage

and in the amount of at least $100,000.00 for the death of or injury to one person and in the amount of at least $300,000.00 for the death of or injury to two or more persons.

All insurance provided for herein shall be covered by policies of insurance of responsible companies duly authorized to transact business in New Jersey.

All policies of insurance provided for herein shall be made payable to the Landlord and Tenant and subtenant, if any, as their respective interests may appear, and original policies therefor shall be delivered to the Landlord, together with receipted bills showing payment of premiums therefor."

Further reference to the tenant's obligation to furnish insurance is found in paragraph 13, which grants the landlords the option to reenter the premises in the event of default by the tenant in any of its several obligations under the lease. Although the paragraph sets forth grace periods during which the tenant may cure various defaults, it specifically provides "that ...


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