There is a legal obligation of property owners and/or property managers to maintain the property in a safe condition for the public.
Certain aspects of premises negligence in New York City involve failure to maintain things that are a clear, visible given.
Here are some examples:
Broken or Unsafe Sidewalks & Parking Lots in the New York Area
This simple example is a common one, particularly because sidewalks and parking lots are right out in the open and something property managers should notice when it’s time to do maintenance.
Cracks, uneven spots, or even black ice in the winter that isn’t properly salted are all trip hazards that can cause serious injuries.
For untreated ice on sidewalks and parking lots, your case is stronger if the ice is on a major walkway that it’s obvious anyone using the parking lot or entering the building would have to use. In other words, such that your adversary would not be able to reasonably make the argument that you could’ve gone around or taken a safer route.
As with any of these situations involving negligence that we’ve discussed, there also must be proof of damage or injury sustained as a result.
Loose Debris, Branches, or Other Dangerous Items
For those who walk or jog Central Park this is something to look out for. Inclement weather can cause large branches or other debris to fall onto park visitors or into their path.
It’s not always visually obvious right away to those on the path, and many people have fallen because of it. Depending on the circumstances and how long the debris has been there, those who are injured may indeed have a case.
In cases where there are poisonous plants growing in public parks where children play, sometimes children try eating berries or leaves and become very ill. If it can be established that the property owner, or the city of New York, were aware or should’ve been aware of the poisonous plants and did not properly address it, there may be a case there.
This is particularly so if there have been previous cases of children being harmed by the poisonous plants there previously and the plants still have not been cleared out. When it’s the first instance of an issue it can be tougher because property owners can claim they were not aware such dangerous plants were on the premises and within such easy access of children.
Improperly Lit or Secured Living Areas in New York City
Occasionally there are scenarios where hallways or doorways are not properly lit -- whether because there are no lights to begin with or that the bulbs remain burned out for a length of time.
That dark space can attract bad actors and lead to robbery or assault.
Perhaps the building is in a rough area where crime is known to happen, but the front entryway is not locked and there is no security officer on the ground level.
If it’s clear that the assault happened as a result of the lack of security or properly maintained amenities, there may be grounds for legal action. We’ve represented clients in these types of tragic situations in the past and were able to reach favorable settlements.