In the case of Peter Wyso v. Full Moon Tide, LLC, et al., the Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled that a man who fell and was injured due to a deteriorated public sidewalk at 104 Water St. on Block Island could not bring a suit against the tenants and owners of property abutting the sidewalk.
Typically, an injury like this would warrant a lawsuit against the city or town. In this case, however, the issue was whether the injured plaintiff could sue the abutting property owners. While the plaintiff argued that the Court could find a duty of care pursuant to Banks v. Bowen’s Landing Corp., 522 A.2d 1222 (R.I. 1987), the Court ultimately found no merit in that argument because the defendants did not possess or control the sidewalk. The Court also pointed to a significant amount of jurisprudence “providing that a property owner owes no duty to individuals for the condition of public sidewalks when the property owner has taken no action to create the dangerous condition.”
You can read the whole opinion here.