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What is a Premises Liability Case in New York?

By Dansker & Aspromonte

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July 20, 2024

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If you’re familiar with the phrase “premises liability” at all, it probably brings to mind a lawsuit against a store where someone slipped in a spilled fountain drink or an action against a neighbor whose unsalted porch resulted in a nasty fall over the winter. While slip and fall cases represent one common type of premises liability case, the field of law is much broader.

Slip, Trip, and Fall Cases

The type of suit known as a “slip and fall” case typically arises when faulty maintenance causes someone to slip or trip and fall on another person’s property, sustaining injuries. While spilled soda and failed snow and ice removal are common causes of slip and fall injuries, any negligence that leads to a fall can form the basis for this type of case. Some other examples include:

  • Tripping over a broken or uneven floorboard
  • Tripping on a broken or uneven sidewalk, porch, or lot
  • Slipping on a surface that has been cleaned and is still wet or slick
  • Slipping on a wet locker room floor or area surrounding a pool
  • Catching a toe or heel on a torn or tasseled rug
  • Slipping on a throw rug that doesn’t have a non-slip backing
  • Tripping over or falling into a concealed hole

While most of us have slipped or tripped at some point in our lives and easily shaken it off, some slip and fall injuries can be serious. In fact, falls are a leading cause of accidental death in adults, particularly those 55 and older.

For a free legal consultation, call (212) 540-2984

Other Types of Premises Liability Cases

Most premises liability claims are maintenance and design related. This encompasses a wide range of injuries sustained through many different events. Some types of negligence that may lead to injury and premises liability claims include:

  • Failure to provide adequate lighting
  • Failure to comply with fire safety regulations
  • Faulty design that increases risk, such as difficulty in reaching emergency exits
  • Substandard or inappropriate materials that increase the risk of fire, collapse, or other accident
  • Lax maintenance that creates hazards

To provide more concrete examples, some cases of this type that Dansker & Aspromonte Associates LLP has handled include:

  • A wrongful death case filed after a 49-year-old man fell down an elevator shaft when the door opened in a commercial building and sustained a fatal head injury. The jury returned a $5 million verdict.
  • A personal injury case on behalf of a professional guitarist who was injured when a ventilation grate in the ceiling of his veterinarian’s office fell from the ceiling and struck him in the head. The jury returned a $1.7 million verdict.
  • A personal injury case filed on behalf of a 32-year-old man who sustained shoulder, neck, and back injuries when the elevator he was in dropped five floors. The case resulted in a mediated settlement of $1.55 million.

A less common but no less serious type of premises liability case involves the failure of a property owner to take reasonable precautions against known risks from outside sources. One of the most common involves criminal activity on the property that could have been prevented by reasonable precautions. For example, this type of claim might arise if the owner/operator of a 24-hour retail store is aware that there have been several robberies outside local stores at night, but fails to implement security procedures such as outdoor lighting, security cameras, and warnings to customers.

Talk to an Experienced Premises Liability Attorney

New York slip and fall lawyers and other premises liability attorneys can be an invaluable asset after you’ve sustained an injury on someone else’s property. Take the first step toward protecting your rights today by scheduling a free consultation. Just call (212) 540-2984.

Featured image credit: Bradley Gordon  / Flickr

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