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Toni Ann Sheridan and Patrick Sheridan v. Heritage Gateway

December 17, 2012

TONI ANN SHERIDAN AND PATRICK SHERIDAN, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
HERITAGE GATEWAY, LLC, A DELAWARE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY; MARINE ONE ASSOCIATES, III, LLC, A DELAWARE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY; RIDGEWOOD 2000 ASSOCIATES, III, LLC, A DELAWARE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY; JPG REAL ESTATE III, LLC, A DELAWARE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY; IVY GATEWAY, LLC, A DELAWARE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY; GATEWAY FOUR URBAN RENEWAL, L.P.; GATEWAY IV NEWARK URBAN RENEWAL, LLC; GATEWAY V NEWARK, LLC; GATEWAY PARKING NEWARK, LLC; GATEWAY IV, LLC; AND FIREMAN'S FUND A/K/A FIREMAN'S FUND INSURANCE COMPANY, DEFENDANTS, AND TPE GATEWAY III, LLC; GATEWAY III NEWARK, LLC; AND TAHL PROPP EQUITIES, LLC, DEFENDANTS-THIRD PARTY PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
THE PRUDENTIAL INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA, THIRD PARTY DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Docket No. L-3133-09.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Argued November 27, 2012

Before Judges Harris and Hoffman.

Third-party plaintiffs TPE Gateway III, LLC; Gateway III Newark, LLC; and Tahl Propp Equities, LLC (collectively Gateway) appeal from the Law Division's two December 2, 2011 orders (1) granting summary judgment in favor of third-party defendant Prudential Financial, Inc. (Prudential)*fn1 dismissing the third-party complaint and (2) denying summary judgment in favor of Gateway on the claims in the third-party complaint. Gateway also appeals from the January 23, 2012 order denying its motion for reconsideration. We affirm in all respects.

I.

A.

Gateway is the owner of a high-rise office building commonly known as Gateway III, which is part of a multi-structure office complex in downtown Newark known as the Gateway Center. An adjoining high-rise office building -- also part of the Gateway Center -- commonly known as Gateway IV, is owned by others. One of Gateway's tenants in Gateway III is Prudential.

This case had its genesis in plaintiff Toni Ann Sheridan's June 20, 2007 trip and fall at the Gateway Center. In her personal injury complaint filed in April 2009, Sheridan claimed that several entities affiliated with the Gateway Center were responsible for the injuries she sustained in the incident. She sued Gateway, together with the other listed defendants (including the owners of Gateway IV), asserting that they were all liable to her because the location where she fell -- the "premises/property/service drive area" -- was "owned and/or leased and/or controlled and/or supervised and/or managed and/or maintained" by all defendants, including Gateway. Prudential was not named as a party in Sheridan's lawsuit.

B.

The lease between Gateway and Prudential contained Section 13, entitled "Indemnity and Insurance." Subsection 13.l.l provided as follows:

Except to the extent caused by the negligence or willful misconduct of Landlord, its agents, employees, contractors, officers or directors, Tenant shall indemnify, defend with counsel satisfactory to Landlord in all respects, and save harmless Landlord's Parties . . . from and against any and all claims, costs (including attorneys' fees and court costs), losses, liability, damages and expenses (including, but not limited to, claims made as a result of death, personal injuries, or loss of or damage to property) occurring in or arising in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, out of or in connection with:

(a) the use and occupancy of the Premises by any of Tenant's Parties . . .;

(b) any breach of this Lease;

(c) any alterations performed by or on behalf of Tenant in or ...


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