Premises Liability

Jeffrey Van Etten & Elizabeth G. Kastner

Appellate Division, First Department unanimously affirmed (April 4, 2017) lower court decision, Jeffrey Van Etten & Elizabeth Kastner on the law, which granted summary judgment to premises owner of a mixed use building, in a well reported wrongful death case. The plaintiff-decedent was a therapist who was stabbed to death by the former patient of a colleague and co-tenant within a leased commercial space. Initial decision on the motion for summary judgment by Mr. Van Etten was based on a lack of duty argument and fact that there was no notice of prior criminal conduct, nor was the intentional tort conduct of the assailant foreseeable. On appeal, the Appellate Division agreed/held that defendant established that no duty was owed and that they had minimum security protections in place and, that the assault was not foreseeable.

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