New York Premises Liability Lawyer
Business owners and lessees have a legal duty to their customers and others lawfully visiting their premises to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. Private property owners and lessees may also be held legally responsible for personal injuries which occur on their property.
Based in Manhattan, but representing clients throughout New York City and NY State, the Premises Liability Attorneys at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf represent victims and their family in cases that include but are not limited to:
- Accidents in commercial and residential building
- Elevator accidents
- School injury
- Inadequate security leading to assault, rape or murder
- Inadequate and defective maintenance of building and property leading to falling debris and other accidents
- Sidewalk accidents
- Injuries or deaths resulting from improperly maintained cellar grate
Although some premises cases, such as so-called "slip and fall" cases, can seem simple, New York law favors the premises owner. Simply because a person is injured on another person's property or on the premises of a commercial establishment, that does not guarantee that a lawsuit may be successfully brought.
An injured plaintiff must prove that the property owner or lessee either caused the defective or unsafe condition or they knew or should have known that there was a defective or unsafe condition on the property. Furthermore, a plaintiff must prove that this condition was a substantial factor in causing the injury. Another important factor that usually arises in these cases is the degree of responsibility for the accident by the injured party, also known as contributory or comparative negligence, which could reduce a recovery or prevent one in its entirety.
A prompt and thorough investigation of your claims is mandatory. This usually includes an immediate inspection of the accident location including scene photographs and witness interviews before evidence is lost or destroyed. Trained investigators are retained to immediately secure all available evidence and try to answer a host of pertinent questions including the length of time the unsafe condition existed, prior complaints, prior accidents, and building code violations. It may even be necessary to utilize experts in various disciplines such as an engineer or an architect to properly investigate and evaluate your case.
If necessary, we also retain expert accountants and financial analysts because many premises liability cases have their own set of associated losses including lost wages, the cost of care and many other monetary costs. In order to accurately assess what these costs will be for the remainder of a victim’s life, we use financial professionals to derive fair resolutions for injury victims.
Our NYC premises liability attorneys persistently work to uncover the truth when fighting for justice on behalf of our clients. The following case illustrates how our skilled attorneys, through careful and strategic preparation, are able to debunk false attempts to manufacture a defense.
Our firm was thrilled to obtain a favorable settlement for a woman who was injured in the service area of a car dealership. After waiting a long time for pick-up, our client located the car herself and walked over to inform a dealership employee. As she walked, our client heard the sound of vehicle tires screeching behind her. Turning, she saw a car coming right at her and tried to get out of the way. While quickly stepping to the side, our client fell down a ramp and landed on her kneecap. The vehicle did not make contact with her.
Our client was immediately taken to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with a highly comminuted patella fracture (meaning that her kneecap had broken into multiple pieces) and damage to the tendons surrounding her knee. After undergoing surgery to her kneecap, involving a plate and multiple screws to hold the shattered bone together, our client spent ten days in the hospital. She also required a second surgery to remove some hardware from the first surgery that was causing her pain.
During the resulting litigation, the defendants turned over an “accident report” that was written with the assistance of an investigator after our firm filed documents to initiate the lawsuit. This belated accident report contained several outrageous statements that tried to pin the blame for the incident on our client, including that: (a) our client told the author of the accident report that “her husband was pulling their car up and as she walked to enter it, she fell unexpectedly and injured herself;” and (b) our client “was wearing a small heel but I’m not sure whether or not that contributed to her alleged fall.”
However, our client testified that, at the time of the incident, her husband was located in an entirely different section of the car dealership and that she did not fall unexpectedly. Her husband also testified he was in a different part of the dealership at that time, and did not know our client had fallen until he heard her scream.
Overall, our firm conducted eight depositions in this case to dispute the defendants’ account of the story, including depositions of six employees from the dealership. By thoroughly questioning each defense witness, and using certain witnesses’ testimony against the others, we effectively ascertained that no one at the car dealership actually witnessed the incident or even knew who was driving the vehicle that caused our client to fall. Nor did any of these employees fill out an accident report before the onset of litigation. After one defense witness’s deposition, our office even received a call informing that the witness suddenly remembered additional information about the incident that contradicted his testimony. Our firm then secured a sworn statement locking in those contradicting statements.
When yet another defense witness testified that he believed our client fell on the sidewalk outside the dealership, and that her husband carried her inside and placed her on the floor (where she started screaming in pain to make it seem as though she had fallen inside the dealership), our attorneys ultimately forced that witness to admit he had not actually witnessed the incident – but this account was just what he “felt” had happened.
After the end of discovery, our firm achieved a favorable settlement in this case before trial.Cases of Note
- Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf was named as Lead Counsel for the case involving fire at Stouffer's Hotel in Westchester County. We represented the estates of 11 members of the Board of Directors of a Fortune 500 Company killed in the fire. Case settled for more than $50,000,000.
- Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf was named as Lead Counsel for the explosion on Ann Street resulting in 12 deaths and multiple injuries. The case settled for $18,000,000.
- Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf was named as Lead Counsel for the Grammercy Park Explosion, the case settled for $14,000,000.
- $7,000,000 settlement on behalf of five people who suffered leg injuries in an elevator accident caused by negligent maintenance of the elevator support cable.
- $4,000,000 verdict for a woman who suffered injuries and whose husband was killed as a result of inadequate security at the building in which she lived.
- $3,975,000 settlement in action where the 27-year old plaintiff fell down an elevator shaft when the doors opened and the elevator was not there. The plaintiff sustained serious injuries requiring an above-the-knee amputation of one of her legs. This case is noteworthy because there was only $2,000,000 in insurance and the building owners paid the remainder out of their own pocket. It was also alleged by the defendants that all tenants in the building were aware that the elevator was not operational.
- $3,900,000 settlement on behalf of a man who was killed when an air conditioner fell on him.
- $3,800,000 settlement for a woman who suffered a severe shoulder injury when a building carelessly allowed ice to build up and to fall in an area where pedestrians walk.
- $3,800,000 verdict in a case where a man suffered a severely fractured leg in a parking garage in Manhattan.
- $3,800,000 for a woman severely injured when ice fell off a mid-town hotel and struck her.
- $3,500,000 recovery in Suffolk County for the family of a DEA agent killed when the cesspool at his home collapsed.
- Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf was named as Lead Counsel for a building collapse on West 35th Street resulting in numerous injuries. The settlement was in excess of $3,000,000 (there was only $2,000,000 in insurance coverage).
- $1,500,000 settlement for a man who suffered a fractured femur after falling on a defective stairway.
- $1,200,000 settlement for a man who suffered a burst fracture of a lumbar vertebra due to an unsafe condition at a school.
The New York Premises Liability Attorneys at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf aggressively work to help you and your family pursue compensation for your injuries. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another, please Contact our firm to discuss your case.
Disclaimer: Please be advised that the results achieved in any given case depend upon the exact facts and circumstances of that case. Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf cannot guarantee a specific result in any legal matter. Any testimonial or case result listed on this site is based on an actual legal case and represents the results achieved in that particular case, and does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction of the outcome of any other legal matter.