Property owners have a responsibility to maintain safe conditions. No one should understand this more than landlords who own and lease out residential properties. They need to make sure that tenants and visitors have access to a safe environment, which can mean keeping hallways and stairwells clear, installing adequate lighting and removing any ice or snow from walkways. This last responsibility can be crucial in winter months in New York, but it is one that is often overlooked by negligent property owners.
When sidewalks or driveways are not maintained properly, they can become serious hazards. People can very easily slip and fall on a slick surface and end up getting seriously injured. In many of these cases, a property owner can be held accountable for negligent maintenance and victims can be compensated for their injuries suffered in this type of accident. That was the case recently when a New York man filed a lawsuit against his former landlord.
The 31-year-old man who filed the suit lived in a Staten Island apartment building that was next door to his landlord’s home. One evening, he crossed his landlord’s driveway to pay his rent just as he may have done every month. But it was January and weather conditions had been cold and icy.
The man slipped and fell on very icy part of the driveway where a drain pipe had been leaking water that froze in the cold conditions. In fact, it was so slippery that emergency responders had to spread out salt on the driveway to make it safe enough for them to get the man off the driveway. The tenant suffered a painful fracture in his ankle and filed a lawsuit against the landlord for failing to maintain safe premises.
It was recently reported that the two sides have reached an agreement and were able to avoid going to trial. The landlord agreed to pay the victim $225,000 for the incident, which will likely help the man cover costs such as medical bills, lost wages and other damages.
Source: State Island Advance, “Slip-and-fall in icy Staten Island driveway results in 250G settlement,” Frank Donnelly, Jan. 6, 2014