Landlords sometimes can be held liable for serious or fatal injuries sustained on their property. This may be the case for the owner of an apartment building in Manhattan, where a 35-year-old woman fell 17 stories to her death when the railing on her balcony gave way.
She had reportedly gone out to the balcony to smoke a cigarette. As she was sitting on the corner of the railing, it broke. A witness heard the railing make two popping sounds. Another witness indicated the metal railing was twisted and bent.
According to another resident of the apartment building, about two or three months earlier, his landlord sent the building superintendent and an inspector to look at his balcony, according to NBC 4 New York.
Liability for Injuries on Rental Property
When it comes to rental property, sometimes more than one party can be liable for injuries. The landlord typically is responsible for the upkeep of the property. But if someone else is also in charge, such as a property manager, then it’s possible the injured victim or his or her family could hold that party liable.
Victims would need to prove that the party named in a claim not only had responsibility, but also failed to act in a reasonable manner. Although we don’t know in this case how extensively the balconies were inspected or if any party neglected responsibility to maintain the balcony, it could be an important factor in determining fault.
In premises liability cases, victims may establish negligence by demonstrating that the property owner or manager knew of a dangerous condition and failed to correct it or by establishing that the owner should have known about the dangerous condition.
Proving liability in this type of claim can be challenging. To discuss the particulars of a premises liability case, contact Gacovino, Lake & Associates. We can evaluate the details of cases to review responsibility for serious or fatal injuries.