If the landlord of a property fails to provide adequate and functional
door locks and you are assaulted by an intruder, you might be able to
sue the landlord for negligence. This is because a basic tenet of property
ownership includes keeping the property safe for residents and visitors.
experienced Newburgh negligent security attorneys know that property safety includes ensuring adequate lighting, functional
door and hallway locks, window locks, and even ensuring that surveillance
systems are installed in some circumstances.
Consider the following example. The rear entry door of a residential apartment
building is broken; the door does not sit properly in the frame and as
a result, the door never shuts completely. Since the door does not shut,
it cannot be locked. Even if the door could shut, the lock is still broken
on its own account.
The building is situated in an area known for crime: burglaries, robberies,
and assaults. The landlord has received dozens of complaints about the
back door; residents are frightened that a non-resident and guest of no
tenant will enter the property and commit a crime.
Eventually those fears turn into a reality when a man enters the building
through the rear door, follows a female down the hall, pushes her into
her apartment, and…
Well, you can imagine what happens next. To be sure, the assailant will
be held accountable when caught by the police. But why hold the
landlord accountable for the vicious acts of a criminal? Because the landlord has a duty to keep the property safe. Anything that
can harm a resident should be warned of or fixed.
In the hypothetical above, perhaps the assailant would have gained entry
into the building even if the door could close and lock. Unfortunately
we will never know. All that is known is that the bad guy entered through
a broken door that the landlord did not fix. If he did fix the door and
install proper and adequate locks, he has done all that can be done to
prevent bad guys from getting in. He is expected to do no more; if someone
ends up breaking in after that, his duty is still fulfilled.
Since he breached his duty and such caused the victim to be injured, the
landlord is responsible for the victim’s damages. New York laws
ensure this right.
Learn more about premises liability cases and what they are in
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Our personal injury attorneys at
Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious car accidents, particularly
throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and
Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
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