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Posts Tagged ‘liability’

We Judge Liability On What Is Finished, Not What Is Attempted

February 9th, 2011 1 comment

Accident while shoveling snowGenerally, property owners in the City of New York and villages on Long Island owe no duty to pedestrians to remove snow and ice that naturally accumulates on the public sidewalk in front of his or her premises. A failure to shovel may result in a fine from the local municipality, but no liability to a third-party plaintiff. So what happens if you, as a property owner, begin to clear the snow and ice from your property and do a poor job of it? New York Courts have found that once efforts have been made to clear the snow and ice from the public sidewalk, a property owner can be found liable in negligence where his or her acts create or increase the hazards inherent in those conditions.

Having undertaken to clear the snow and ice, a property owner is obligated to exercise reasonable care in doing so. Failing to do so can lead to a jury reasonably inferring that the dangerous conditions present are the result of an incomplete and incompetent snow removal effort. It can also be inferred that the property owner’s conduct created or increased a hazard that would not have existed but for the property owner’s actions.

When the inevitable storm hits our area again (and we know it will), make certain you have the necessary tools, shovels, snow-blowers, salt and sand, to start and most importantly finish the job. It is prudent to make sure you have used all reasonable care to clear the dangerous conditions from your property to avoid slips and falls which could result in a negligence action against you. Remember, your children are a cheap and effective way to remove snow and ice, after all, shouldn’t they work for their day off?

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Peter Sellers: “Does your dog bite?” Man at counter, “No.” Dog bites. Peter Sellers: “I thought you said your dog doesn’t bite?” Man: “That is not my dog.”

January 18th, 2011 1 comment

There seems to be a population explosion of dogs on Long Island.  Walk around Manhasset and you will see or hear a dog in practically every home.   For all you dog owners out there, should you be concerned if Rover is not on his best behavior when the mailman or kids walk by?  Absolutely.  

In New York, a plaintiff injured by a dog bite can recover damages against the dog owner under a theory of strict liability if the plaintiff can prove that the dog had vicious propensities and that the owner of the dog, or person in control of the premises where the dog was [kept], knew or should have known of such propensities.   The proof is generally made by the testimony of the injured party or a neighbor stating that the dog had bitten somebody in the past or that the dog had previously exhibited viscious or menacing behavior.  

Many dog owners could be subjecting themselves to personal exposure as some insurance companies are exempting coverage on a homeowners’ policy for losses caused by certain breeds of dogs.  

A landlord can be liable for a tenant’s dog if the landlord had notice that a dog was being harbored on the premises, and that the landlord knew or should have known that the dog had vicious propensities.

In addtiion to civil liability exposure, the owner of a dog who has bitten a person can be subject to penalties and controls pursuant to New York State Agricultural and Markets Law.  The penalties on the owner of a dog who has attacked can range from a fine to the possibility of one year in jail.  A hearing can be held in court to determine whether the dog is a “dangerous dog.” Finding a dog “dangerous” allows the court to force the owners to take action to attempt to make sure the dog interacts safely with others, including: requesting that the dog to be leashed or muzzled at all times in a public area; requesting the owners to confine the pet (by fencing it, etc.) for a specific amount of time; having the dog trained and possibly putting the dog down or permanently confining the dog.

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My First Blog Post… The Bedbugs Are Gone! Happy New Year!

January 3rd, 2011 1 comment
Bed Bugs are truly pests...

Bed bugs are truly pests.

Hello, Internet Surfers. I am excited to be posting my first blog entry. As a 2011 New Years Resolution of mine, I am off to a great start. I aim to post something new at least every week. But i will try to make it more often than that.

Today, I am going to point you to a story that just came out in the NY Times (Published: January 2, 2011), ‘ The Bedbugs Are Gone, but So Is All She Owned.’

The story illustrates the devastation that bed bugs cause people, and the reason that hotels, moving companies, and many other businesses should be paying close attention to these little critters.  Please post your thoughts and comments as to who is to blame in these cases.

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