The First Department determined the death of plaintiff in her office (caused by nonparty Tarloff) was not foreseeable and the building owners and tenants could not therefore be liable in negligence:
Even though the building contained a psychiatric suite, defendants had no duty to protect decedent from the violent actions of third parties, including former patients like Tarloff; such actions were not foreseeable, given the absence of prior violent criminal activity by Tarloff or other third parties in the building … .
Even assuming that defendants had a duty to provide “minimal precautions” … , that duty was satisfied by the provision of 24/7 doorman coverage, surveillance cameras, controlled building access, and functioning locks on the doors of the office suite and decedent’s personal office … . It is purely speculative that additional security measures — such as announcing visitors, installing an office intercom or buzzer, or keeping the office doors locked after hours — would have prevented Tarloff from killing decedent.
Any claims that the door man was negligent in failing to recognize Tarloff’s suspicious behavior was not a proximate cause of decedent’s death because it was still not foreseeable that Tarloff was about to engage in a murderous rampage. Tarloff’s conduct was a superceding cause severing the causal chain. Given that the attack was targeted and premeditated, it is “unlikely that any reasonable security measures would have deterred [Tarloff]” … . Faughey v New 56-79 IG Assoc., L.P., 2017 NY Slip Op 02608, 1st Dept 4-4-17
NEGLIGENCE (KILLING OF PLAINTIFF IN HER OFFICE WAS NOT FORESEEABLE BY THE BUILDING OWNERS OR TENANTS)/ASSAULT (NEGLIGENCE, KILLING OF PLAINTIFF IN HER OFFICE WAS NOT FORESEEABLE BY THE BUILDING OWNERS OR TENANTS)/FORESEEABILITY (KILLING OF PLAINTIFF IN HER OFFICE WAS NOT FORESEEABLE BY THE BUILDING OWNERS OR TENANTS)