De Caro & Kaplen, LLP
20 Vesey Street • New York, New York 10007
Toll Free: 1 866-BrainLaw • (212) 732-2262 • FAX (212) 732-3905

Your New York personal injury lawyer at De Caro & Kaplen, LLP, will gather the evidence to prove Premise Liability and/or Landlord Liability.

Landlord liability is something to be taken seriously considering that landlords and other property owners are the ones responsible for providing safe apartments, office buildings and stores. When an injury occurs because of the failure to properly maintain an apartment, to make necessary repairs or simply by creating a hazard or a danger that causes slip and fall injuries -- then you need to consult with an experienced premise liability lawyer.

Put our experience with Landlord and Tenant Law to work for you!

In reviewing the facts of any accident in a building or home, we look at building codes and city or town ordinances to determine whether the property owner complied with the landlord and tenant laws.  We will send experienced investigators to the scene who will personally assess the unsafe condition, take photographs and measurements and preserve valuable evidence.  This information will be reported back to us so that we can prove that your injury did not just happen but was caused by someone else’s negligent conduct.

Landlords must maintain buildings in a safe manner – it’s the law!

Tenants in apartment buildings have a right to expect that laws dictating landlord liability have been complied with and that their landlords have maintained both the inside and outside of the building in a safe manner. At De Caro & Kaplen, LLP, we understand the intricacies of landlord and tenant law in New York. Needed repairs and proper maintenance steps must always be made to the apartment, the hallways, elevators, steps, sidewalks, doors, windows.  Plus, landings must also be free from dangerous defects.

Tripping Hazards Often Cause Slip and Fall Injuries

Many slip and fall injuries that occur in apartments, office buildings and stores are often caused by dangerous conditions not cleaned up by the property owner. This is why landlord and tenant laws call for responsibility on the part of the proprietor.

We have been involved in cases where serious injury including broken bones, facial head  and brain injury were caused by the failure on the part of a landlord to clear debris from steps or from the floor. In other cases, cracked or broken steps and stairways were not repaired and needed handrails were missing. We’ve dealt with landlords who have neglected to remove snow or ice from a walkway. We’ve seen cases where slip and fall injuries have resulted from store personnel leaving boxes and other tripping hazards in aisles, or from not placing warning or other precautionary signs in areas of risk. We have successfully prosecuted cases where trap doors in the floor remained open causing people to fall.

Landlord Failure to Make Repairs

Routine repairs that are not made by landlords and store owners have caused injury and even death to our clients over the years.   We have successfully represented persons who received injury when ceilings have fallen because leaks were allowed to continue unchecked; where electrical connections induced fire or created electrocution hazards and when complaints by tenants went unheeded.

Receiving Compensation for Injuries to Children

Injuries to innocent children are among the most tragic kind. As premise liability lawyers, we have been called upon to represent families when young kids have sustained injuries by no fault of their own. There have been cases where necessary window guards to protect children were not in place, causing them to fall several stories to the ground and acquire brain damage and other serious injury. In another instance, when lead paint was not properly removed in violation of city laws causing brain damage to children, we have successfully rendered legal assistance. Also we have successfully obtained compensation for victims when boilers were not properly maintained so that water temperatures were allowed to rise to dangerous levels causing scalding and burn injuries to children.

Elevator accidents and Darkened Stairwell Injuries

We have successfully been able to prove that the cause of the elevator accident was the failure to make necessary repairs when an elevator mislevels, or when its door does not properly close.  We have reviewed the maintenance records of the elevator, as well as the service reports of the elevator maintenance company.  At times, our experts have carefully inspected the elevator itself and determined the cause of the accident.

We have successfully represented the president of one tenant’s association who received an injury in a darkened stairwell because her landlord failed to pay the electric bill.  As a result, the power company turned off the electricity to the entire apartment building. This violation of landlord and tenant law resulted in both a jury verdict for personal injury as well as punitive damages against the landlord.

Some cases in which Michael Kaplen and Shana De Caro have had success representing personal injury victims due to the negligent acts of landlords and improper maintenance of buildings or stores are as follows:

  • Dangerous  walkways and passageways
  • Unsafe ceilings
  • Hazardous stoves and sinks
  • The neglect of a landlord in making a repair after complaints were made
  • Failure to remove lead paint
  • Not having adequate locks
  • Neglecting to fix doors and windows as well as installing proper guards
  • Lacking the installation of handrails
  • Rejecting the necessity of  repairing intercoms
  • Forgetting to perform proper inspections
  • Failure to clean debris from the floor
  • Lacking in finding time to fix broken steps
  • Refusing to repair leaks
  • Brushing off the importance of removing  snow and ice
  • Dismissing the need of  cleaning up spills and puddles
  • Failing to post security guards
  • Refraining from keeping proper lighting
  • Maintaining water temperature which is too high
  • Blocking aisles and passageways
  • Creating traps and holes to fall into or trip over
  • Stacking merchandise to high causing it to fall
  • Ripped or torn carpeting

Your rights if you are a crime victim in an apartment building or office building:

According to the standards set forth by landlord and tenant law as well as precedents from prior cases won by premise liability lawyers, landlords must provide safe and secure premises. When security is inadequate or non-existent and tenants or visitors or a customer in a commercial premises or apartment building is attacked, raped or in some other way molested, the victim may have the basis for a lawsuit against the owner of the building or store.

In order to form the basis of a successful suit, the premise liability lawyer for the victim must be able to prove that the crime would not have occurred, if landlord liability laws had been complied with and the property owner took proper steps to secure the maintenance and safety of his building. If the building has been the site of attacks of malicious conduct in the past, this may form the basis of a claim that the landlord had noticed the need for security personnel or monitoring devices and ignored it.

If existing personnel such as a doorman or a guard is not at his or her assigned post or is asleep and this allows an intruder entry into the premises, this too may form the basis of a claim to be brought against the landlord by a premise liability lawyer. Frequently, claims are based upon faulty security devices such as broken locks, inoperable buzzers, lighting devices or intercoms. These devices, which are required by New York law, form the first line of defense against crime.

In commercial establishments such as bars, dance halls, movie theaters and other places where large numbers of people gather, the failure to effectively control crowds or eject abusive and rowdy individuals can lead to landlord liability if an innocent person is injured. Other situations exist where liability is imposed upon a landlord due to a resulting injury from criminal conduct. In hospital settings, the failure to restrain demented individuals and in schools, neglecting to check on the background of those entrusted with the welfare of our young, are some examples.

In a recent case we successfully represented a young woman who was raped in an apartment building. We were able to prove that the intercom, door lock and a camera in the building were not properly operating on the day of the attack. The victim standing in the lobby of her apartment building saw the intruder gain entrance merely by pushing open the front door. We were further able to prove that the building, which was a co-op, had board of director minutes going back months where the issue of defective security devices was discussed.

The easiest and best safeguard against criminal violence is proper maintenance of a building by a landlord and the hiring of proper security personnel. Prevention of criminal conduct before it occurs is the responsibility of the landlord.

Criminals act in predictable ways and choose locations in which their deeds can be easily and discreetly carried out. The failure to act in a reasonable and responsible fashion will cause the landlord to be responsible under laws of negligence for attacks committed on innocent tenants and their guest.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of such conduct, the New York premise liability lawyers at De Caro & Kaplen, LLP can provide you with proper legal representation.