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Brooklyn, NY Legal Blog

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Property Owner's Obligation To Maintain Their Property in Compliance With The Building Code

Premises liability deals with the breach of duty that is owed by an owner or occupier of property to protect invitees from dangerous conditions and defects on the property. The owner/occupier has a duty to exercise reasonable care in the management of the premises to ensure persons are protected from an unreasonable risk of harm.  Premises liability laws make the person who is in possession of land or premises liable for injuries suffered by persons who visit the premises. While some premises cases appear simple, knowing the law is essential.

Property owners must provide a reasonable degree of safety for people who are on their property.  One duty that property owners have is to meet certain Building Code requirements.  For example, if a visitor falls down a set of stairs while trying to exit a building, he or she may have a case depending on if the property owner failed to comply with the applicable Building Code statute and the stairway was improperly built or did not have enough handrails.  A property owner also has a duty to keep their property free from obstacles and hazards that can cause a customer or visitor to slip and fall or trip and fall.

The property owner’s failure to properly maintain their property could result in a visitor or customer falling on their property and sustaining serious personal injuries.  Below is an example of a visitor who sustained serious personal injuries while visiting a friend and the property owner did not install code compliant fire escapes.

On March 7, 2017, a New York County jury awarded Anastasia Klupchak $29 million for personal injuries she sustained while visiting a friend at their lower east side apartment.  Ms. Klupchak was out on a fire escape with her friend to have a smoke on the fourth-floor fire escape.  When Ms. Klupchak was attempting to reenter into the apartment, the heel of her boot got caught on the fire escape and she fell through an unguarded opening of the fire escape platform.  As a result of her fall Ms. Klupchak became paralyzed from the waist down. 

One of the main issues in the case focused on the landlord’s failure to comply with the New York City Building Code provision which required the property owner to install code compliant fire escapes.  After a four-week trial, the jury returned with a verdict in favor of the Plaintiff.

More information about this case could be read here.

New York Premises Liability Attorneys

If you have been injured in an accident on another individual’s property that he or she could reasonably have prevented by taking better care of the property or the property may not have been in compliance with the appropriate Building Code, you could have grounds for a premises liability claim. After you have received a proper diagnosis and treatment for your injury, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to begin discussing your claim. Our experienced team of attorneys are available to meet with you and to go over your options for pursuing a premises liability claim.  We can provide you with compassionate and thought out legal guidance and the proper representation that you need as you pursue your personal injury claim against the at-fault party.  To schedule a free initial consultation with our firm, please call our office at (646) 504-7384 or email us at effie@soterlawpc.com. 


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