The Second Department determined questions of fact precluded summary judgment in favor of the landlord (New York City Housing Authority, NYCHA) in this assault liability case. Plaintiff-tenant alleged she was assaulted by an intruder who entered the apartment building through a broken door:
“Landlords have a common-law duty to take minimal precautions to protect tenants from foreseeable harm, including foreseeable criminal conduct by a third person” … . Recovery against a landlord for an assault committed by a third party requires a showing that the landlord’s negligent failure to provide adequate security was a proximate cause of the injury … . “In premises security cases particularly, the necessary causal link between a landlord’s culpable failure to provide adequate security and a tenant’s injuries resulting from a criminal attack in the building can be established only if the assailant gained access to the premises through a negligently maintained entrance. Since even a fully secured entrance would not keep out another tenant, or someone allowed into the building by another tenant, plaintiff can recover only if the assailant was an intruder” … .
Here, in support of its motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint, NYCHA failed to demonstrate its prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law. The deposition testimony of the plaintiff submitted in support of the motion raised issues of fact regarding whether the door was operating properly prior to, and on the day of, the incident, and whether [the assailant] was an intruder who gained access to the premises through a negligently maintained entrance … . Ramos v New York City Hous. Auth., 2017 NY Slip Op 01244, 2nd Dept 2-15-17
NEGLIGENCE (QUESTION OF FACT WHETHER ASSAILANT WAS AN INTRUDER WHO ENTERED BUILDING THROUGH A BROKEN DOOR)/LANDLORD-TENANT (LIABILITY FOR ASSAULT, QUESTION OF FACT WHETHER ASSAILANT WAS AN INTRUDER WHO ENTERED BUILDING THROUGH A BROKEN DOOR)/ASSAULT (LANDLORD-TENANT, NEGLIGENCE, QUESTION OF FACT WHETHER ASSAILANT WAS AN INTRUDER WHO ENTERED BUILDING THROUGH A BROKEN DOOR)