A recent opinion addresses whether a company that leases a store is liable for damages in a New Mexico personal injury suit, after a customer is attacked in a parking lot used by the store’s customers.
Allegedly two people were trying to purchase a video game console from an electronic gaming store in Santa Fe, and were asked to leave because they were attempting to make the purchase with a fraudulent credit card. The man standing behind them succeeded in purchasing a video game console, left the store and went to the parking lot. He sued the company that owned the store after being attacked in the parking lot by the people who had been ahead of him in line at the store, who had been unsuccessful in buying a video game console.
The plaintiff did not name as a defendant to the lawsuit the landlord of the store. The lease between the owner of the store, a company that the defendant had named in his lawsuit, and the landlord who leased the store its space, a company that the defendant had not named in the lawsuit, provided that the parking lot was a common area to be used by tenants as a common area. The lease also reserved control of the parking lot to the landlord.