Articles Posted in Premises Liability

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trend-gas-tank-fire-300x169Remington Walden, a 4-year-old boy from Georgia, was driving with his aunt on a spring day in 2012 when a pickup truck rammed into the back of their 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Though the pickup truck caused only minor exterior damage to the Jeep, it punctured the vehicle’s fuel tank. Within seconds, Remington Walden, who was fully conscious, was engulfed in flames. He died about a minute later.

Walden’s death was many things: a tragedy, a life taken too soon, and every parent’s worst nightmare. It was not, however, unavoidable. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which manages the Jeep brand, was officially warned on at least three separate occasions that 1993–2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees had a substantial design defect. The fuel tanks were mounted behind the rear axle, an anomaly in the car industry, making them extremely vulnerable in rear-end collisions. When hit even at low speeds, the tanks produced deadly fires.
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leadbasedpaint-300x225The next time you hear the head of the New York City Housing Authority tell you not to worry about the widespread presence of lead paint in public housing developments, don’t believe her.

When over 200 children living in public housing were found to have high lead levels in their blood, NYCHA CEO Shola Olatoye evaded responsibility by announcing that only 17 of the housing authority’s apartments contained dangerous levels of lead paint. Directly contradicting this data were the city Health Department’s findings that 63 of those apartments tested positive for lead paint.

What could account for the enormous discrepancy between these figures?
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Manhattan landlord Steve CromanManhattan landlord Steve Croman used intimidation and harassment to force “countless working-class and low-income families out of their longtime homes,” alleges the office of New York State attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman.

Over the course of a 25-year career in real estate, Croman purchased over 140 apartment buildings, many of them inhabited by rent-stabilized tenants whom he referred to as “targets,” and systematically bought them out to raise rent. His buyout scheme was highly effective, with most of his buildings cleared of its old tenants within just a few years.

Croman has been widely known for his slimy behavior for years now. Attorney general Scheiderman has dubbed him the “Bernie Madoff of landlords,” and the Village Voice referred to Croman as “The Repeat Offender” when he ranked 8th in the city’s Worst Landlords list in 2014.
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sewage-300x168Over 80 New York drinking water systems contain lead levels over the federal action limit, say Environmental Protection Agency records. The largest of these systems, located in Tarrytown, NY, supplies water to over 11,000 people. 16 of the systems supply schools and day care centers.

New York has become more diligent in its testing in the wake of the catastrophic findings in Flint, MI and Newark, NJ.

In September of last year, the proportion of children with elevated lead levels in Flint was found to have doubled since the city switched water sources in 2014. Because the effects of lead poisoning can sometimes take years to become apparent, Michigan chief medical executive Eden Wells has recommended considering all 8,657 children in Flint under the age of 6 exposed, “regardless of what their blood level is on Jan. 11.” Because of the mass exposure to lead by the city’s children, Flint mayor Dayne Walling anticipates a greater need for mental health services and special education in years to come.
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Letitia_James_2013New York City Public Advocate Letitia James introduced several new bills this week that would increase the city’s power to fight back against negligent landlords.

One bill would expand the scope of the city’s public nuisance law to allow city officials to bring landlords to court for maintaining unsanitary or dangerous living conditions.

“This new law would give us the ability to step in and act in such a situation rather than waiting for the landlord who has shown they don’t care,” said James. Continue reading →

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minick-25-900-600-9efcd4Workers’ compensation programs were adopted in the US roughly a hundred years ago to protect employees injured in the workplace. These programs were designed to minimize unnecessary litigation, guaranteeing injured workers medical coverage regardless of fault, and in exchange, limiting employers’ losses to certain standards for lost wages, medical treatment, and rehabilitation services. Now, a Texas lawyer is working to reverse a century of progress by dismantling the workers’ compensation system.
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100215elevator05sg-300x200Do you check the weight capacity of every elevator you enter?
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