Inadequate Security In NYC Buildings Is A Big Problem In Summer

Although most New Yorkers welcome summer, the warmer weather also correlates with a rise in crime. School-age teenagers are on break from school and people spend more time outdoors, perhaps explaining why New York City experiences increased violence in the summer. Still, much of the crime is preventable when landlords take basic precautions.

One such preventable crime recently occurred in upper Manhattan. A 14-year-old girl suffered an attempted sexual assault in an apartment building stairwell in Inwood. Fortunately, she was able to fight off the attacker. While this crime could have ended up with a worse outcome, it should never have happened in the first place.

In New York, a landlord is generally required to take reasonable steps to protect tenants from the criminal conduct of third parties when such crimes are foreseeable. This duty may be made more stringent by lease provisions or additional regulations, but a landlord cannot weaken or eliminate this duty.

New York Premises Liability Law Involving Negligent Security

One area of extreme contention in New York negligent security lawsuits is the issue of foreseeability. The law says that to hold a landlord liable, the crime committed against the tenant must have been foreseeable.

Foreseeability often involves the history of criminal activity on the premises. A history of violence or crimes makes it easier for the tenant or visitor to argue that the crime was foreseeable and the landlord should have taken more action to prevent it. Of course, not all criminal activity - such as illegal gambling - necessarily endangers the safety of tenants or visitors, so each claim involves a close examination of the facts.

Even if foreseeability is established, the injured tenant or visitor must still prove that the landlord failed to take reasonable steps to prevent it. Safety measures frequently scrutinized in New York premises liability lawsuits include:

  • Providing and maintaining outer-door locks
  • Installation and maintenance of security cameras
  • Sufficient lighting in parking lots, stairwells and common areas
  • Staffing of security personnel
  • Landlords' condoning of "nuisance" tenants who endanger others' safety

It's important to remember that the legal burden is on the plaintiff, or victim, and failing to prove any aspect of the law's requirements will allow the landlord to prevail.

Seek Help With Your NYC Inadequate Security Case

Negligent security claims are extremely contentious, as well as emotionally burdensome for the victim. An experienced negligent security attorney not only helps you win your case, but can help you recover the maximum amount of compensation allowable under New York law.

The attorneys at Tolmage, Peskin, Harris, Falick have served New York injury victims for more than 45 years. If you or a family member has been injured because of inadequate security, contact us to discuss your legal options.

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