Singletary, as owner of a multistory building, leased the first floor to Topp Copy Products. A toilet in an apartment above Topp Copy Products developed a leak and did substantial damage to Topp Copy’s inventory in the leased space. Topp Copy sued Singletary for water damages based on negligence. Singletary claimed that his defense was an exculpatory clause in the lease agreement that stated that he was released from any and all liability for damages that “may result from the bursting, stoppage, and leakage of any water pipe . . . and from any damage caused by the water . . . and contents of said water pipes.” Topp Copy disagreed with Singletary, stating that an exculpatory clause did not relieve Singletary from negligence caused by his or her own negligence. Is Topp Copy correct?
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