Was Landlord Responsible for Attack on Tenant's Guest?
LVT Number: #31002
Tenant's guest sued landlord for negligence after he was shot as he left the building by an outside attacker. He claimed that the main entrance building locks were never locked because the locks were broken. The guest knew the attacker from the neighborhood, and said he was unaware of any shots or fighting at the building before the incident. The attacker had been involved in another shooting at a nearby building the same day. Landlord asked the court to dismiss the case without trial, claiming that it wasn't responsible for the guest's injuries.
The court ruled against landlord. A trial was needed to determine the facts. The guest presented crime statistics of the three years preceding the incident from the local police precinct that included the building location. The volume of crime, all of which involved assault like the subject incident, raised a question of fact as to whether landlord should have foreseen the type of incident because of crimes in the area. Landlord argued that the attacker's actions weren't foreseeable. But criminal actions of third parties are foreseeable if there have been sufficiently similar prior criminal acts in the vicinity. Again, there are genuine triable issues of fact.
Kellman v. Poonam Apts, LLC: Index No. 507286/2017, 2020 NY Slip Op 32083(U)(Sup. Ct. Kings; 2/26/20; Cohen, J)