Written by Ronemus & Vilensky on October 9, 2013
Last month, one of our clients, 52-year-old Carol Nudelman, received over $9.9 million from a Brooklyn federal jury to compensate for medical bills, bodily injury and suffering she sustained from a premises liability case at Costco.
As the New York Post recently reported, Mrs. Nudelman was shopping with her new husband at Costco’s Brooklyn location, and was going up an ascending escalator with her loaded shopping cart. The ascending escalators at this Costco location are designed to secure customers’ carts in place as they move between floors, so that customers do not need to hold them while on the escalator. As she was on her way up, the shopping cart dislodged and fell back onto her wrist. She did not initially see signs of major bodily injury, but soon afterwards lost her mobility and quality of life to the development of complex regional pain syndrome.
The federal jury ultimately found Costco to be liable for Mrs. Nudelman’s injuries, mainly because of bodily injury resulting from premises liability. Under premises liability law, you may have the ability to file a claim if your bodily injury was caused by a business’s negligence toward properly maintaining a safe property for guests. Ronemus & Vilensky’s experienced and compassionate NYC occupational injury attorneys can help you reach a speedy and just resolution to your bodily injury claim. Click here to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our NYC premises liability attorneys today.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is an area of tort law that addresses whether a business or individual was responsible for a victim’s injury, pain and suffering that occurred on that business or person’s property. While it is always crucial to exercise caution when on another business’s or individual’s property, you may have standing to sue if that business or individual failed to adequately maintain or give reasonable warning about property defects. Your status as a visitor to a place of business is also important in determining whether you qualify for a legal claim based on bodily injury from premises liability. For example, if a customer breaks into a Costco after it is closed to the public and sustains an injury because of a property defect, Costco would not be liable because the person would be considered a trespasser and therefore not owed a duty of care by the business to ensure his well-being. However, as in Mrs. Nudelman’s case, a business does have a responsibility to both customers and members of the public when the business’s land and premises is open to the public. A business generally owes these individuals—known as invitees under premises liability law—a duty to exercise reasonable care in finding hidden property dangers and warn about existing or foreseeable property harm. Common sources of bodily injury from premises liability cases include slips, trips and falls, inadequate warnings or hazards regarding known property defects, and falling objects.
Our NYC Premises Liability Attorneys Can Help
Under premises liability law, all businesses adhere to certain property maintenance standards to avoid negligently putting their customers in harm’s way. When a business is careless in properly maintaining its property, or fails to address an existing or foreseeable defect on the property—such as in Nudelman’s case, which resulted from an improperly-maintained escalator. A customer can file a bodily injury claim against a business over premises liability if he or she can prove the following:
- The business owed a duty to protect the customer—or a class of people that includes the customer—from the property defect in question.
- That business breached its duty to protect its customers from that property defect by failing to maintain its property or by knowingly and negligently failing to address & fix the property defect in question.
- The business’s breach of duty caused the customer’s bodily injury or another kind of injury.
- The injury the customer sustained is recognized under law as one under which the customer could request and collect damages.
Many bodily injury and premises liability cases involving property injury also involve additional legal intricacies and other details that require the assistance of a compassionate and experienced premises liability attorney. Ronemus & Vilensky’s NYC premises liability attorneys have the legal experience and expertise necessary to advise you on your bodily injury from premises liability and determine if you have a premises liability claim against a business or individual. If your circumstances would entail a legal claim for your bodily injury, our attorneys will recommend your best legal courses of action, and work with you to reach a speedy and just resolution to your premises liability claim.
Click here to schedule a complimentary consultation with a Ronemus & Vilensky premises liability attorney. Let us help resolve your bodily injury claim and get you the compensation you deserve.