As Repair of Roof Had a Practical Value to a Commercial Use Exemption Was Available to Defendants

In Krukowski v. Steffensen (194 AD2d 179) the plaintiff was injured while working on a roof of premises being put to both a commercial and residential use. The upper level of the house was used primarily but not exclusively as a residence and the lower level was devoted to a photography business. The defendants employed three employees at the premises and 70% of the expenses and depreciation on the property were allocated to the business and there was a separate entrance to the building for the business. In an opinion of Justice Santucci, the Second Department noted the Court of Appeals statement in Van Amerogen v. Donnini (supra) that exemption may " 'properly be extended "only so far as [the] language [of exception] fairly warrants, and all doubts should be resolved in favor of the general provision rather than the exception" ' " (Krukowski v. Steffensen, supra, at 182, quoting Van Amerogen v. Donnini, 78 NY2d, supra at 882, quoting McKinney's Cons Laws of NY, Book 1, Statutes 213). The Court held that since the repair of the roof had a practical value to a commercial use the exemption was available to the defendants.