Articles Posted in Premises Liability

A three-year-old girl, a four-year-old boy, a teenage boy and an adult man were killed in a New Jersey fire that started in an abandoned building. According to a report by The Star Ledger, the fatal fire occurred on Brookdale Avenue in Newark. The fire spread from a vacant building to occupied, three-story wood framed buildings on the same side of the road. The three-alarm fire resulted in fatal injuries to four occupants who were in one of the neighboring buildings. It is unclear what started the building fire or who was in the boarded up building at the time.

All building owners must ensure that their properties are built to code and properly maintained. When a fire results in fatalities, it must be determined how the fire occurred, why it spread and how it could have been prevented. Were there properly working fire extinguishers and fire alarms? Did the buildings have a sprinkler system in place? Were there electrical issues? Did the fire start as a result of criminal activity? If the fire began in an abandoned building, who was responsible for making sure the building was safe and secure?

The family of someone tragically killed in a New Jersey house fire would be well advised to protect their legal rights and options by calling an experienced personal injury attorney. A skilled NJ premises liability lawyer at Lependorf & Silverstein helps injured victims and their families obtain compensation for their losses. We provide no cost case evaluations at (609) 240-0040 to anyone who has suffered a loss in a home, business, or apartment fire.

Property owners are responsible for the incidents that occur on their premises. When a property has a pool, for example, the owner has a legal obligation to provide reasonably safe conditions around the pool. When a dangerous condition around the pool leads to an injury accident, the property owner may be held liable for the damages suffered. However, the process of filing a premises liability claim in New Jersey may become complicated when the property owner is a friend of the victim or a member of the victim’s family.

No one wants to be put in a situation where they have to sue a friend. Unfortunately, there are cases in which the only way to receive compensation is by holding the negligent property owner accountable for an accident that occurred on their property. Here are some questions to ask immediately after a swimming pool accident. Does the pool have adequate fencing around it? Do the doors that lead to the pool have locks or an alarm? Are there unsafe conditions such as cracked pathways around the pool? Does the pool owner leave toys around the pool that may draw a child near it? The answers to these questions may help determine if the pool owner or homeowner was negligent in any way.

It is important to remember that a settlement from a premises liability claim will come directly from the property owner’s insurance policy. They should not personally suffer financially from a lawsuit. The most a homeowner with adequate insurance may suffer financially is the potential hike in insurance premiums.

All property owners n New Jersey have a legal obligation to provide reasonably safe conditions for visitors to and residents of the premises. When an apartment fire occurs, for example, investigators will have to determine what role the property owner or property manager may have played in failing to prevent the fire. Depending on the circumstances, victims of apartment fires may be able to pursue financial compensation for the injuries and losses they have suffered.

There are many questions that investigators must ask following an apartment fire in New Jersey. Was the building constructed using dangerous materials? Is the wiring in the building up to code? Did each apartment have working smoke detectors, fire alarms and fire extinguishers? Were the residents provided information on the fire escape routes in case of an emergency? If the investigation shows that the injuries suffered were connected to a property owner’s negligence, the victims may be able to seek compensation by filing a premises liability claim.

It is common for injured victims to have to file a civil lawsuit to receive fair and full compensation for their injuries and related losses. Negligent property owners may be held responsible for damages including medical bills, time away from work, hospitalization, continued treatments, surgeries, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. It is common for property owners to deny responsibility, to fail to have adequate insurance, and to claim that the victim was the one responsible for the fire.

Under New Jersey premises liability laws, property owners are required to offer reasonably safe conditions to any and all visitors. When someone is injured on a person’s property, the owner may be held liable for the damages, particularly if their negligence contributed to the accident. Under certain circumstances, a property owner may even be held liable for an injury that occurs during a criminal act on their property. Anyone injured on public property would be well-advised to speak to a skilled attorney about their legal rights and options.

Not all criminal activity on public property provides the basis for a valid premises liability claim. In many cases, the injured victim will have to prove that negligence on the part of the property owner caused or contributed to the incident. An experienced lawyer will ask the following questions: Were there similar acts on the premises in recent years? Did the property owner beef up security after those incidents? Were any other steps taken to improve security and safety such as the use of surveillance cameras? What other crime prevention measures were taken by the property owner?

If a property owner was negligent and took no steps to secure the premises despite several incidents on the property, they may be held responsible for the damages suffered. A successful New Jersey premises liability claim could result in compensation for medical bills related to the incident, wages lost while healing, and pain and suffering.

Premises liability is a practice area of law that deals with a property owner’s responsibility to keep their premises safe and free of obstructions that could cause harm to another person. The most common injuries in regards to premises liability in New Jersey are sustained through slip and fall accidents. Slip and fall accidents can occur when property is not maintained adequately or a spilled substance is left unattended. Injuries that can occur due to a slip and fall accident in New Jersey may include:

  • Broken bones
  • Head/brain injuries

An investigation was launched on February 8, 2010 for determining the cause of a recent explosion at a Middletown, Connecticut power plant that killed at least five people and injured a dozen or more others. Based on a story, the huge explosion of the under-construction power plant occurred on February 7, 2010 at 11:15 a.m. and was so massive that residents heard and felt the boom as far as 20 miles away. Approximately 50 to 60 people were in the area at the time of the blast, and while hospital officials have not released the conditions of all of those injured in the power plant explosion, the report mentioned that one pipefitter injured in the explosion suffered a broken leg and wounds ranged from minor to very serious.

Construction for the 620-megawatt power plant was almost complete prior to the explosion. It was being built to produce energy mainly using natural gas, which, according to the report, accounts for almost a fifth of the nation’s electricity. The Connecticut Fire Marshalls and Colorado members of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, which investigates industrial chemical accidents, are currently working together in determining exactly what happened. The explosion took place while workers for the O&G Industries construction company were purging a gas line and clearing it of air.
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A chemical plant worker in DuPont, West Virginia has died from exposure to phosgene that took place on January 23, 2010, according to a article. The federal Occupation Health and Safety Administration stated that inspectors are examining a series of leaks that shut down the eastern Kanawha County plant and caused the employee to die. The plant was closed temporarily due to three leaks being reported; however, one leak went undetected for an entire week. The plant is currently reviewing operating procedures and there are no pressing plans to begin production.

Phosgene is a colorless gas that, as demonstrated in this particular incident, can be extremely dangerous because its odor may not be noticed and symptoms of exposure are usually gradual to appear. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those who have been exposed to an unsafe amount of phosgene are typically observed by doctors for up to 48 hours since it may take that long for symptoms to develop or re-emerge. Some delayed effects of phosgene exposure may include difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, coughing up white to pink-colored fluid as a sign of pulmonary edema, or heart failure. While most individuals who survive phosgene exposure experience a full recovery, many of those affected develop emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
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On January 25, 2010 an Appellate Division panel of Judges ruled in the case entitled Bennett v. B.J. Lounge and Jeffrey Newton. In this case, the plaintiff sued for personal injuries he sustained while performing work at a tavern in Upper Deerfield Township New Jersey. The plaintiff was hanging a Philadelphia Eagles football team banner on an interior wall of the tavern. The plaintiff pushed a metal chair from the floor of the tavern against the wall and stepped onto the chair to hang the banner. The chair collapsed and the plaintiff sustained significant personal injuries. The plaintiff filed his cause of action and alleged that the metal chair was a dangerous condition that existed on the tavern’s premises and that the plaintiff had not been warned of this dangerous condition. Both the trial court and the Appellate Division dismissed this claim. Both Courts reasoned that the plaintiff failed to provide expert testimony to show that a reasonable inspection of the chair before the accident would have prevented the accident.

In order to prevail in a case such as this it is important to show that the defendant had either actual knowledge or constructive knowledge of a dangerous condition that could result on injury. It is not enough merely to demonstrate that the injury occurred. By employing an expert who specializes in these types of accidents, the plaintiff could have shown that the tavern should have been aware of this dangerous condition on the tavern premises. If you have been injured in a fall, Contact an attorney at the Princeton, New Jersey law firm of Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. for a free consultation regarding your legal rights. The personal injury attorneys at the Princeton, New Jersey law firm of Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. have extensive experience in litigating these types of personal injury claims. Let the personal injury attorneys at the Princeton, NJ law firm of Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. go to work for you today.

Whether a family decides to place a loved one in a nursing home, a developmental disability facility, or any other professional or medical center, the choice to trust that other people will provide your loved one with the attention, treatment, and care they need and deserve can often be difficult and even emotional. When this trust is breached and wrongful death takes place at such facilities, the consequences can be devastating for a family to endure, and frequently leaves those involved with many questions, particularly whether or not negligence or wrongdoing led to the death taking place.

According to an article from, an employee at the New Lisbon Developmental Center in Pemberton Township, Burlington County, has been put on unpaid leave after the choking death of one of the patients under the caretaker’s observation. A spokeswoman for the Department of Human Services stated that the deceased man choked on a sandwich and had lived at the facility for almost 20 years.

The New Lisbon facility is one of seven New Jersey-run centers that provide care for individuals with developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy and autism. What many residents may not know, however, is that the Burlington County facility has a history of problems that led the Department of Justice to open its own investigation in 2002. The state even agreed in 2004 to the independent monitoring of practices at the New Lisbon center for a span of four years, which was later extended one more year, which ended in August.
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As one of the most silent and invisible forms of personal injury, lead poisoning has put far too many children at risk throughout the State of New Jersey. Based on a report, health officials have proposed new and stricter standards that should allow children suffering from lead poisoning quicker access to health services in addition to having their homes (as the site of exposure ) examined sooner. A major change made by New Jersey health officials is the proposed lowering of the blood-level threshold said to determine whether a child exposed to toxic lead requires follow-up care and whether an environmental investigation is needed to determine its source.

According to the article, health officials are now aware that lead levels once thought to be tolerable are now known to be far too dangerous, especially when it comes to children. Depending on the level of lead exposure, some of the injuries children could encounter from lead poisoning may include, but are not limited to:

  • Developmental problems
  • Damage to normal growth
  • Severe brain damage
  • Seizure
  • Coma
  • Wrongful death

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