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Serrano v. Apple Container

Decided: October 19, 1989.

HECTOR SERRANO, PETITIONER-RESPONDENT,
v.
APPLE CONTAINER, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT



On appeal from a judgment of the Division of Worker's Compensation.

Pressler, Gruccio and Landau, JJ. The opinion of the court was delivered by Landau, J.A.D.

Landau

This is an appeal by respondent-appellant Apple Container from a final determination of the Division of Worker's Compensation which awarded benefits to petitioner-respondent Hector Serrano for injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. The accident occurred after Serrano had punched out on the company time clock and departed from the designated parking area immediately adjacent to the building occupied solely by Apple.

An agreement of lease, originally entered into between the landlord, Crow Montville Associates, and Apple's predecessor, was in effect at the time. It provides, in pertinent part:

ARTICLE 1. DEMISED PREMISES:

LANDLORD, in consideration of the rents to be paid and the covenants and agreements to be performed by TENANT, hereby demises and leases unto TENANT, and TENANT hereby hires from LANDLORD the following described portion of Building A and other improvements situate [sic] on the property known as Montville Center III, Section 2 located at 60 Chapin Road in the Township of Montville, Morris County, New Jersey (said property being more particularly described in Schedule "A" attached hereto and hereby made part hereof):

(a) 137,194 sq. ft. in Building A, and

(b) the off-street truck loading areas adjacent thereto, and

(c) FIFTY (50) off-street parking spaces (LANDLORD shall have the right to relocate parking spaces provided such relocated spaces are not substantially more remote from the portion of the building herein described)

all as shown outlined in red on the site plan attached hereto as Schedule "B", together with the right to use in common with LANDLORD's other tenants the driveways and walks giving access thereto.

As indicated in the lease, off-street truck loading areas and 50 off-street parking spaces are part of the demised premises and there is a common right to use access driveways and walks. Montville Center III, an industrial complex in which the demised premises are located, is contiguous to a similar complex known as Montville Center V. Their borders are not visibly distinguishable. Ownership of Montville Center III and Montville Center V is not congruent. Each is owned by a limited partnership which has some partners in common with the other.

Serrano had traveled approximately 325 yards from the premises leased to Apple and was "cutting through the adjacent complex" [Montville Center V] to reach Chapin Road, which affords peripheral access from the complex to Route 46, when he was struck by a vehicle as it pulled out of a parking space. There are a number of alternate internal roadways through the large industrial complex which can be utilized to reach Route 46 West. Serrano chose his ...


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