Category: Blog

cyclist injuries from poor road conditions around New York

Winter Safety Liability: Property Owners Responsible for Clearing Walkways

Winter is coming: Property owners must clear public walkways

Although many readers in New York City might not want to hear it, winter is fast approaching. A number of concerns that extend beyond wearing warmer clothing accompany the arrival of colder weather. Freezing temperatures will also bring ice and snow, which means that sidewalks and other public walkways are likely to become slipping hazards.

The coming of winter is both a reminder for pedestrians to be cautious and of the responsibility property owners have to maintain safe premises. Parking lots, sidewalks and the interior of a building are all places that could become slippery with ice and snow on the ground, so property owners should take care to protect those who could slip and fall.

Observers note that visibility to potential slipping hazards is very important. This means that warning signs and appropriate lighting might be helpful. Because of the dark color of asphalt parking lots, for example, it might be hard to see ice when has formed. As such, property owners should try to remove the ice and provide ample warning to those who might come into contact with the slippery surface.

In focusing on snow and ice removal for exterior surfaces, it may be easy to neglect to take precautions for interior spaces too. When people track snow into a store or place of business, it will undoubtedly melt. Puddles of water on an uncarpeted floor can create a very serious slipping hazard that patrons might not expect.

Becoming the victim of a slip-and-fall accident can have very serious consequences, especially when the incident occurs on hard, paved surface. Suffering broken bones or serious muscular injuries as the result of a fall could make many aspects of life very difficult.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Winter’s Coming — How to Prepare Your Business to Help Prevent Slip Fall Accidents,” Kiernan Hopkins, Nov. 5, 2013

lawyer workstation with view of New York

Candle Causes Fire Injuring 9 People in New York City

9 people injured in New York fire caused by unattended candle

In some of the most serious of circumstances, people exhibit heroic behavior. First responders often find themselves in this position, yet concerned family members, friends and neighbors can be thrust into the same role. Not long ago, one New York City man took selfless action to save two small children in a house fire that sent nine to the hospital.

During the very early morning hours, a fire broke out in the Bronx. As the fire spread, a man who only has one arm and one leg rescued his 1-year-old son and an infant relative. He threw the kids to safety from a second-floor balcony as a neighbor caught them. Eventually, the man jumped over the balcony to save himself.

New York firefighters responded to the blaze, which was considered a two-alarm fire. Thankfully, no one died as a result of the fire, but fire department officials say that two people were critically injured.

Although the Bronx man’s bravery is being commended, reports suggest that this fire could have been prevented, raising some premises liability questions. Firefighters say that an unattended candle left burning in the basement of the residential building was the genesis of the fire. Not only that, but the building did not have a smoke alarm, which is certainly cause for concern.

Although certain details are not provided in reports, it will be important to determine who was responsible for leaving the candle burning and making sure that smoke alarms were installed. If this is a rental property, for example, it’s likely that the property manager should have put smoke alarms in the facility.

The full details of any subsequent investigation could help the accident victims determine what their options are. This will become important as they continue to recover physically and financially from the injury caused by the fire.

Source: NBC New York, “Man With One Arm, One Leg Throws Newborn, Toddler to Safety from Burning Bronx Home,” Roseanne Colletti, Oct. 28, 2013

Lawyer working on a client construction injury case

Absent Landlord & Unmaintained Apartments Worry NY Tenants

Unkempt New York apartments concern tenants, landlord is absent

Home is commonly associated with comfort. If a person’s dwelling isn’t safe, it may be impossible for him or her to feel this way about their own home. In the context of rental properties, landlords play a major role in maintaining and securing the premises. This is a basic duty that property managers owe to their tenants.

According to reports, residents of an apartment complex in New York City have been putting up with substandard — and potentially dangerous — conditions for quite some time. Reports indicate that tenants’ apartments are full of mold and insects. Not only that, but there is not heat in the facility. Even though it’s well known that the furnace and leaking roofs need to be fixed, little to nothing has been done about it.

The Harlem complex, owned by the Abyssinian Development Corporation, has a history of problems. In fact, the current owners acquired the property with the hope of turning it around. Even with all of the problems, residents say that conditions now are better than under the previous owner.

According to the New York Daily News, the organization that owns the building is out of money. As a result, repairs simply aren’t being made. Of course, mold opens the door to a number of health concerns. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that tenants are fed up.

Pursuing compensation for negligent maintenance in a case like this could be complex. Not only is the apartment’s ownership in debt, but it is also a non-profit group. This, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that those who suffered an illness or injury as the result of the conditions in the apartment complex are without options in terms of premises liability.

Landlords have an obligation to meet the terms of a rental agreement. Tenants don’t deserve to be subjected to health concerns as the result of a failure to make necessary repairs.

Source: New York Daily News, “Tenants say living in Abyssinian Development Corporation building in Harlem is hell,” Jan Ransom, Oct. 22, 2013

body injury models

Air Pressure Hazard: Exploding Toilet Injures New York Resident

Air pressure causes toilet to explode and injure New York City man

One of the benefits of living in an apartment complex is that property management is responsible for facility maintenance and repairs. When individuals sign a lease, they do so with the understanding that the property owner will also uphold the agreement. In order to keep the premises of an apartment safe, maintenance must be complete carefully and effectively. Without this kind of attention, the safety of residents may be put at risk.

Not long ago, a New York City man was severely injured while maintenance was being performed on his apartment complex. The man’s toilet exploded without warning when he tried to flush it. As a result of the explosion, several pieces of porcelain became lodged in his face, which required immediate medical treatment.

Reports from Yahoo News indicate that the complex’s water was shut off at the time of the incident, causing an immense amount of air pressure built up in the water lines. By flushing the toilet, the pressure released and caused the toilet to explode.

Although the man’s unique story is making rounds throughout the media, it’s certainly no laughing matter. His attorney says that the injuries to his face are severe enough that he will need plastic surgery to repair the damage. Of course, this medical treatment will be costly. Beyond the physical pain, the man is suffering from severe anxiety. The emotional toll of the accident has made him terrified to flush the toilet.

As a result of the accident, the man is pursuing a premises liability claim for financial and emotional damages.

When maintenance was being conducted, it may have been best to advise residents that the water was going to be turned off and could cause complications if there were attempts to use the water. Better precautions may have prevented this serious accident.

Source: Yahoo News, “New York man hit by exploding toilet,” Oct. 15, 2013

doctor looking at head x-ray for injuries

Improper Security Accidents: Injured NY Concert Guest Sues Venue

New York concertgoer sues venue for brain injury, sparse security

New York City is known to have one of the most active and innovative music scenes in the country, if not the world. This gives local residents the opportunity to attend a concert on any given night of the week. One New York man’s expectations for a spontaneous night of fun at a concert came to a quick — and unexpected — end.

A 24-year-old Brooklyn resident was asked by a friend to attend a show hosted by the electronic group Justice at the Hammerstein Ballroom. As the night wore on, the crowd became increasingly rowdy. In fact, one patron was able to jump from the balcony because there was not enough security to stop him. As a result of the two-story fall, the jumper fell on the Brooklyn man’s head and inflicted serious brain injuries.

Nearly a year after the accident occurred, the injured concertgoer has filed a premises liability claim in a Manhattan court for negligent security.

Although most falling objects cases involve inanimate objects, the underlying legal issues in this case are the same. Just as a property owner has a duty to take steps to make sure that potentially dangerous objects are secured and don’t fall on unsuspecting people, the management at the Hammerstein Ballroom should have made sure there was enough security at the concert. At the very least, efforts should have been made to ensure patrons wouldn’t jump or fall over the balcony’s rail.

Since suffering injuries at the concert, the 24-year-old man has had a difficult time recovering. Traumatic brain injuries and injured ligaments kept him away from doing any work for five months. Still, the man is only able to meet the demands of a part-time job because he has memory issues. A successful claim could help the young man gain access to resources that will be helpful in his recovery.

Source: New York Post, “Man sues Hammerstein Ballroom after patron landed on him in 2-story fall,” Julia Marsh, Sept. 30, 2013

outside view of the law firm building

Preventing Slip-and-Fall Incidents: Hotels Responsibility to Clients

Hotels should consider guests to prevent slip-and-fall accidents

New York City is a major destination for tourists from all corners of the globe. When people begin their vacation, they are likely excited to take advantage of all that the city has to offer. Knowing this, travelers don’t want to worry about something that will hinder their fun or cause their trip to come to an early end.

The overall experience someone has with his or her hotel can make or break the success of a vacation. As such, hotel management should take steps to ensure that their guests remain happy and healthy during their stay, since there is definite room for accidents to happen.

One prominent travel writer notes that more and more baby boomers will be traveling in the coming years, and hotels may want to make considerations for this trend. Of course, the needs of traveling baby boomers are different than younger travelers’ needs.

As boomers continue to age, certain considerations may need to be made to account for mobility concerns. Specifically, older people may be more susceptible to slip-and-fall accidents. Knowing this, hotels may want to clear hotel floors of tripping hazards and install bath mats to minimize the risk of wet floors. These are only a couple specific accommodations to consider, but they could prove helpful in minimizing the risk of accidents.

Simply put, places of business should try to accommodate anticipated clientele. If an older group of guests is expected, then special considerations may be made to minimize the risk of injury.

Hotels have a duty to ensure their guests are safe. As a result, patrons might benefit from understanding the protections included in personal injury laws in the event they are harmed in an accident on hotel premises.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Dear Hotel Manager: Are Your Rooms Booomer-Proofed?” Dr. Irene S. Levine, Sept. 27, 2013

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