Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

NY Premises Liability question

Does the NYC Dept of Ed have a duty of care to a plaintiff w nofaultkillself03/14/17
Would be totally surprised if NY law drew a distinction in t specv31303/14/17
i dont see why they would be absolved of liability. they are legalbeagle03/21/17
I can't speak on NY law, but Texas might have some similarit jeffm03/21/17
nofaultkillself (Mar 14, 2017 - 3:44 pm)

Does the NYC Dept of Ed have a duty of care to a plaintiff who slips and falls on ice on a sidewalk adjacent to a DOE School on the weekend, given that the DOE operates the school on weekdays only.

My impression is yes, DOE has duty of care even though accident happened on the weekend.

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specv313 (Mar 14, 2017 - 6:53 pm)

Would be totally surprised if NY law drew a distinction in tort in the scenario you've described on the basis of a slip & fall occurring on a weekend vs. weekday. Not legal advice, but from my perspective, this a non-issue.

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legalbeagle (Mar 21, 2017 - 5:27 pm)

i dont see why they would be absolved of liability. they are responsible during non-working hours just like any business would. ive never heard of such an exception and am almost certain one does not exist.

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jeffm (Mar 21, 2017 - 11:20 pm)

I can't speak on NY law, but Texas might have some similarities.

The first thing we ask in Texas is whether there is sovereign immunity. The school district is part of government. Government is generally immune from tort liability. There can be Constitutional and statutory exceptions to sovereign immunity. You have to find them in the black-letter law; otherwise, immunity bars the claim.

In Texas, immunity is waived by statute which allows claims sounding in premises liability if there was a condition which was unreasonably dangerous and which was known to the governmental unit. "Should have known" doesn't cut it.

There are plenty of cases regarding whether there is liability for dangerous, natural conditions, such as ice on roads, fallen trees, debris, etc. Lots of car-wreck cases against counties and the states. There might be a distinction in the standard of care required if the condition is caused by nature, such as ice or rain. Be on the look-out for these kinds of things when you research.

Be sure the sidewalk is owned by the school.

FYI: We have a tort claims notice statute, requiring some kind of notice to the governmental entity within so many days of the incident. It's like an SOL, but it's not the usual SOL. Our usual SOL for PI is 2 years. The notice requirement is something like 60 or 90 days (IIRC). You still have 2 years to file suit, but you better have given the notice of claim on time, or else. NY might have some similar quirks. Be extra careful to research about any special requirements for imposing liability on a governmental unit.

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