The First Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the landowner did not have a duty to provide minimal security precautions in the public vestibule of their building in this third party assault case, despite a history of shooting on the premises:
Defendant established entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by showing that it owed no duty to protect plaintiff Charles Wong’s decedent, Malachi Wong, and his brother, plaintiff Timothy Wong, from the shootings that occurred in the public vestibule of their building. A landowner’s duty to take minimal security precautions does not extend to exterior public areas, including walkways and vestibules … . Contrary to the motion court’s finding, plaintiffs’ evidence failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether the shootings were foreseeable. The article in the Co-op City Times, expressing the need for a greater police presence in Co-op City, and defendant’s public safety records, indicating 24 reports of gunshots fired on the premises, were insufficient, since they did not indicate that any of the reported shootings occurred in the vicinity of plaintiffs’ building … . The location of where the shots were fired is relevant, in light of the fact that Co-op City spans two-square miles and is comprised of approximately 200 residential buildings … .
The affidavit of plaintiffs’ security expert in which he states that defendant’s reduction of its security officers at midnight proximately caused decedent’s and Timothy Wong’s injuries is insufficient to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether defendant breached its duty to provide minimal precautions against the foreseeable criminal acts of third parties … . Furthermore, defendant did not proximately cause the injuries, since the record shows that the assailant specifically targeted Malachi and Timothy … . Wong v Riverbay Corp. 2016 NY Slip Op 03585 [139 AD3d 440], First Dept 5-5-16