Articles Posted in Premises Liability

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New York property owners have a duty to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. When this does not happen, a New York premises liability lawsuit provides a legal remedy to the injured accident victim. Of course, not every slip and fall on another’s property will result in a favorable judgment for the injured person. There are many factors that must be considered. Some of these factors include the nature of the alleged defect, how long the defect had been present, and whether the landowner was aware of the defect and had time to correct it prior to the accident.

Facts of the Case

The plaintiff in a recent case was a woman who injured her shoulder when she her foot caught the lip of a raised concrete sidewalk slab while walking toward a diner in May 2016. The woman, joined in the suit by her husband, sought compensation for her injuries, alleging that the defendants, the owner of the diner and the owner of a nearby firehouse, were negligent and that this negligence was the cause of her injuries. Both defendants filed motions for summary judgment. The Supreme Court of Greene County denied the defendants’ motions, and they appealed, arguing that the alleged defect about which the plaintiff complained was trivial and, thus, not actionable under New York law.

Decision of the Court

The New York Appellate Division, Third Department, modified the trial court’s order by reversing the denial of the firehouse’s motion for summary judgment but affirming as to the part of the order denying the diner owner’s motion. The court began by acknowledging that trivial defects do not render a landowner liable for a guest’s injuries but noting that there is no “predetermined height differential” in a sidewalk or other walking area (such as the one upon which the plaintiff was injured) that automatically rendered a defect trivial or not trivial. Rather, courts must consider various factors, including width, depth, elevation, irregularity, and appearance of the accident location. The time, place, and circumstances of the plaintiff’s injury may also be considered by a reviewing court.

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Of the many Syracuse premises liability lawsuits that are filed, in addition to those filed elsewhere in New York, very few actually make it to trial. There are two main reasons for this.

First of all, as with other types of civil claims, many slip and fall cases are settled out of court. The defendant agrees to pay a certain sum of money to the plaintiff (sometimes without actually admitting liability), and the plaintiff agrees to accept that sum and dismiss his or her case.

Secondly, a significant number of cases are resolved via summary judgment procedure. When summary judgment is granted, a court is essentially saying that looking at the evidence in the light most favorable to the opposing party, the party seeking summary judgment is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, without the need for a jury trial.

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Construction workers face many dangers in the workplace, including the possibility of a fall if working on an elevated surface without the proper safety equipment. If a worker is hurt in such a situation, he or she should talk to an experienced Syracuse construction accident attorney about the process of holding the responsible party accountable for the worker’s injuries.

Such cases can be complicated, as there are several different laws that may come into play, and there may be multiple defendants (the employer, the building owner, the general contractor, etc.) who could potentially be liable.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a man who was reportedly hurt when he fell from the scaffold of a building while performing plumbing work. He was not wearing a lanyard or harness at the time of the fall. The plaintiff filed suit against the owner of the building, asserting a common-law negligence claim, as well as violations of New York Labor Law §§ 200 and 240(1). The defendant then filed a third-party action against the plaintiff’s employer, seeking indemnification under a subcontract.

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A Syracuse personal injury lawsuit may involve one defendant or multiple defendants. Likewise, a single theory of liability may be asserted, or multiple theories may be included in the plaintiff’s complaint for damages.

The more defendants and the more theories of liability, the more likely it is that some of the claims against the defendant(s) will be dismissed prior to trial. Typically, this is done through the summary judgment process. A party who is aggrieved by a trial court’s decision on a motion for summary judgment may opt to ask an appellate court to review the matter.

Facts of the Case

In a recently decided appellate court decision, the plaintiff was a limousine company employee who was driving a bus made by the defendant bus manufacturer when, in 2012, she stopped at a gas station owned by the defendant gas station owner to refuel. According to the plaintiff, she put the nozzle of the pump into the bus’s fuel tank, engaged the hold-open clip on the nozzle, and waited while the bus refueled. When fuel began to spill out, she disengaged the clip, stopped the flow of fuel, and waited for the pressure to subside. When she removed the nozzle about 20 or 30 seconds later, fuel ejected from the tank and into her eyes, as well as onto her face and body.

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When the owner of a piece of property does not use reasonable care to keep the property safe for those who have a legal right to go onto the property, a premises liability lawsuit may result. In such an action, the plaintiff must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant’s negligence resulted in his or her injuries. Of course, the defendant will likely deny that he, she, or it should be held liable for the plaintiff’s injuries, and the case may proceed to trial for a determination of the issues.

A party who is dissatisfied by the jury’s verdict and/or the decisions made by the trial court judge may be able to seek further review from an appellate tribunal. If you have been injured and question whether the owner of the property took reasonable care to ensure the safety of those visiting the property, you should speak with a Syracuse premises liability attorney to discuss your case.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a man who filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant city, seeking to recover damages for injuries he alleged sustained after tripping on a piece of torn carpeting in the city’s fire department (the plaintiff was employed as a firefighter). The plaintiff’s lawsuit contained allegations under New York General Municipal Law § 205-a, based upon alleged violations of the city’s building code and fire code. The case was tried to a jury, which found that the defendant had violated certain provisions of the city’s building code but that these violations did not cause the plaintiff’s accident either directly or indirectly. The jury also found that there was no violation of New York labor law by the defendant.

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Generally speaking, in order to be successful in a Syracuse slip and fall case, the injured party must be able to prove that he or she was injured as a result of the negligence of a business owner or land holder.

The law does not allow for money damages simply because one person fell on someone else’s land; rather, there must have been some deviation from the usual standard of care owed to those who lawfully come upon another’s property before a verdict can be entered in the plaintiff’s favor.

Because these cases can be challenging, it is important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible if think you may have a claim against a business or landowner due to injuries suffered in a fall-down accident.

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When someone is hurt on the job, there are several possible legal remedies. Depending upon the situation, a Syracuse construction accident claim may be a viable option.

A claim for workers’ compensation benefits is another possibility, as is a labor law claim in some instances.

Talking with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you get started on the process of holding the responsible party accountable for your medical expenses, lost earnings, and other compensable losses.

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In the state of New York, landowners and business operators owe certain duties to those who come upon their property for a business purpose, such as a shopper going to a mall to make a purchase.

A Syracuse premises liability lawsuit can result when a business patron is injured because a property owner did not act in a reasonably prudent manner and this resulted in physical harm to an invitee.

If the person who is injured on business property is able to prove that his or her injuries were due to the defendant’s negligence, he or she may be entitled to substantial financial compensation. However, it is important to note that there are deadlines for filing a claim in such cases, and claims not filed in accordance with the time set by law are usually deemed to have been waived.

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Dog bites can cause serious harm, potentially triggering a Syracuse personal injury lawsuit. In most personal injury cases, the plaintiff has the burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant owed him or her a legal duty, that this duty was breached, that the plaintiff was harmed, and that the defendant’s breach of duty was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. In a case involving a dog bite injury, however, the usual rules do not apply. Rather, under New York law, a dog’s owner will not be held to be “negligent,” even if his or her dog bites another person and causes serious personal injury.

Instead, the law of strict liability applies – but, only if the dog has either been previously adjudicated as a dangerous animal or if the victim can prove that the dog had a dangerous tendency to bite (and that the owner knew this.) If the owner is held strictly liable, he or she must pay both the human victim’s medical expenses and the veterinary costs if another animal was involved.

Facts of the Case

A recent case arising from the Supreme Court of Erie County, New York, involved an encounter between the plaintiff and her dog and two dogs owned by the defendants. According to the plaintiff, she was walking her dog when the defendants’ dog approached them. One of the defendants’ dogs only sniffed at the plaintiff’s dog, but the other dog allegedly came toward them at a full run and began biting the plaintiff’s dog. The plaintiff, in turn, lost her balance, fell over one of the dogs, and fractured her arm.

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In a New York “slip and fall” negligence case, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the defendant breached a duty of care owed to him or her, proximately causing the damages for which he or she seeks monetary compensation. Because New York is a pure comparative negligence state, it is likely that the defendant in such a case will try to place as much fault as possible on the plaintiff. Under the doctrine of pure comparative fault, the plaintiff’s own fault will not bar recovery, but it will reduce the damages that are recoverable in proportion to the plaintiff’s own negligence.

In other words, if the jury finds that the plaintiff is entitled to $50,000 in monetary damages for his or her injuries suffered in a fall but determines that he or she was 50% at fault in the accident, the plaintiff will only receive $25,000.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a woman who filed suit against the defendant landlord in the Supreme Court for Niagara County, asserting a cause of action for negligence. According to the plaintiff, she slipped and fell outside her apartment building due to ice that the defendant had failed to remove. The plaintiff’s suit seeking compensatory damages for her personal injuries proceeded to a jury trial.

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