Construction
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Premises
Liability

Motor Vehicle
Accidents

How New York City landlords sidestep making necessary repairs

Every New York City resident has heard the horror stories about nightmare landlords who refuse to lift a finger to fix dangerous conditions in the apartment buildings they own. Whether it’s vermin infestations by rats and roaches, leaky ceilings and recalcitrant plumbing, living in these conditions places the residents in danger.

While the Department of Housing Preservation and Development is tasked with overseeing New York City’s 2.2 million rental apartments and assuring that they are habitable, a review of their records by The New York Times was illuminating. It’s apparent that the agency failed to get tough on property owners who deprive residents of even the most basic of services. Few of the worst offenders ever face the maximum penalties for their lapses.

Many landlords offer token lip service to mandates to fix their properties and layer fresh paint over mold or make other cosmetic repairs when the underlying structures were rotten or otherwise not working as intended.

Their intentions can be quite nefarious. Often, they try to drive out rent-controlled tenants who pay minimal amounts and have lived there for decades. Then, once the tenant can no longer tolerate the uninhabitable conditions and moves, landlords rush in and make major renovations to their properties so they can command double or even triple rent amounts.

When the Times analyzed city housing data, they reviewed hundreds of cases that landed in housing court and interviewed tenants and those who advocate for them. Over two-thirds of those cases were settled for less than 15 percent of the available penalties — usually about 10 percent, with median settlements of $4,000.

Even when property owners lie and claim to make repairs, their repercussions are minimal. In one egregious case, a landlord filed 40 certifications within two years falsely claiming the housing violations were fixed. The landlord paid fines that were less than $3,000, the Times reported.

If you are living in such untenable conditions and suffer injuries or illnesses as a result, you may be able to recoup some of your losses by filing a premises liability lawsuit.

Verdicts &
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$1.475 Million

for a Carpenter who was injured when the scaffold he was working upon collapsed.

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$1.2 Million

for a 35 year old Cement and Concrete worker from Queens who sustained serious injuries to his back when he slipped on debris and refuse.

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$1.2 Million

for a Construction worker and young father in the Bronx who was fatally electrocuted while on a scaffold.

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$950,000

for two sisters in high school who sustained serious injuries when struck by a vehicle that mounted the sidewalk in Brooklyn as they waited for the bus to take them to school.

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$825,000

for a woman injured as a passenger in an accident involving a bus and a car in the Bronx.

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$777,000

for an Ironworker on Long Island who sustained serious injuries when he fell from a ladder which slid out from under him due to icy footing.

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$750,000

for a surgeon who sustained a broken knee in a motor vehicle accident (January, 2017).

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$750,000

for a man severely burned in his apartment by excessively hot shower water (Sept. 2020).

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$660,000

verdict for a 35 year old Cement and Concrete laborer who was injured when the scaffold he was walking upon collapsed.

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$650,000

for a cement and concrete worker who slipped and fell over construction debris.

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$650,000

for a Cement and Concrete worker who injured his back as a result of slipping upon a discarded pipe and falling down a flight of steps.

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$500,000

for a Nursing Home resident injured due to lack of proper care.

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$325,000

for a woman who sustained multiple serious injuries to her shoulder as a result of a trip and fall upon a defective sidewalk at a construction project in Manhattan.

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$250,000

verdict in the exact amount demanded by our office for our client, but refused by the responsible defendants, was awarded by the jury to our client who sustained a fractured elbow as a result of a fall upon a badly broken sidewalk.

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$325,000

for a young woman who sustained a fractured ankle as a result of a fall on soapy steps in her apartment building in the Bronx.

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$495,000

for a young mother who was struck by a car while crossing the street near her home in Queens sustaining serious injuries to her leg requiring the surgical placement of a metal plate and screws.

Verdicts & Settlements

$600,000

for a woman who sustained multiple injuries as a passenger in a motor vehicle accident.

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$425,000

was secured by our office for a Cement and Concrete worker injured when a work area collapsed beneath him.

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$400,000

for a woman struck from behind by a car as she walked to a supermarket in a shopping center parking lot in Yonkers.

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$200,000

for a young man, 15 years of age, who sustained a partial tear of the rotator cuff of his right shoulder, which has now healed without any limitation upon his activities.

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$325,000

for a school principal in the Bronx who tripped and fell over a construction plate in the school parking lot.

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$300,000

for a young Cement and Concrete worker who was struck by falling debris dislodged from a building by a swinging crane.

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$250,000

for a Cement and Concrete worker injured as a result of a fall at a Manhattan construction site.

Verdicts & Settlements

$300,000

for a school teacher in the Bronx who sustained an injury to her shoulder when she tripped and fell due to negligently placed computer wiring.

Verdicts & Settlements

$275,000

to a Construction laborer doing bridge work whose arm was fractured when falling construction material caused him to fall into the East River and onto debris.

Verdicts & Settlements

$450,000

for a child injured when a table fell on him in a laundromat in Queens.

Verdicts & Settlements

$450,000

verdict for a Volunteer Firefighter in Westchester who sustained injuries in the course of fighting a fire.

Verdicts & Settlements

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