Category: Premises Liability

Injured in an accident? We can help. From car accidents, workers’ comp claims, construction accidents to medical malpractice and police misconduct, we have you covered. Check out our blog for helpful tips and examples of claims, including many related to premises liability.

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Preventing Black Friday Fight Injury: What Can Retailers Do?

Could retailers have done more to prevent Black Friday fights?

For many families, going shopping during the Thanksgiving holiday has become just as a much of a tradition as carving a turkey. Thousands of shoppers flock to retail stores to find great deals. Every year, however, it’s almost expected that some bargain hunters will be hurt in the chaos that ensues when sales begin. Knowing this, should stores be providing more security to help protect patrons?

Unfortunately, this year’s Black Friday was no different: Throughout the country people were hurt as they were simply trying to save some money on holiday gifts.

For example, three people were involved in a fight at a Wal-Mart store after other customers were attempting to budge in line. Additionally, a police officer was also injured in this altercation.

Interestingly enough, these types of incidents seem to happen year after year. Stores know that hundreds, maybe thousands, of customers could be trying to bust through the doors as soon as they open. As such, they should be prepared to have enough security on hand to help maintain order by preventing customers from cutting in line or harming other customers.

If stores fail to have enough personnel on hand to control crowds of shoppers, there could be questions about negligent security. Because Black Friday is an annual event everyone can expect, stores have a duty to be prepared and help protect their customers.

The hope is that someday people will be able to read news reports the day after Black Friday without seeing that people were caught up in brawls while they were trying to shop. Until that time comes, customers should know that they might be protected by New York’s premises liability laws.

Source: NBC News, “Violence flares as shoppers slug it out for the best Black Friday deals,” Henry Austin, Nov. 29, 2013

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Safety Issues: Concern over Multiple Injuries from Sport Stadium Falls

Streak of fall injuries at sports stadiums raises concerns

Attending a professional or college sports game can be an incredible experience. Between the action on the field of play and the excitement of thousands in the stands, there is a lot fun to be had. However, a pattern of fall accidents at sports stadiums throughout the country this year might have people wondering just how serious fan safety is taken at the facilities.

This year, at least five fans have been injured or died as the result of injuries sustained of while falling at a football stadium. For example, a New York football fan injured himself and another spectator when he slid down a railing at the Buffalo Bills’ Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Furthermore, when looking at fall incidents at Major League Baseball parks since 1969, a total of 23 people have died. In fact, three of those deaths occurred at New York’s Shea Stadium.

One observer notes that there seems to be a connection between the growing size of stadiums with the frequency and severity of fall accidents. As the arenas grow in size, so do the heights from which spectators can fall. Falling down a large stairwell, for instance, could certainly cause a catastrophic injury.

Keeping in mind the size of today’s sports stadiums, those who manage and maintain the property should keep safety efforts in mind. For example, after two fans fell from the outfield bleachers of the Rangers Ballpark in Texas, adjustments were made to guardrails.

If a fall accident on the premises of a stadium is caused by inadequate or improperly maintained safety features, then the property owners and managers could be held accountable. Sports fans attend games with the expectation of being entertained, rather than winding up in the hospital with a serious injury.

Source: Atlanta Daily World, “Stadium Deaths: What’s Behind the Fatal Falls?” Tom Watkins and Lateef Mungin, Nov. 26, 2013

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

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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

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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

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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

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