New York businesses have a duty to secure their property

Most Long Island residents and other New Yorkers know intuitively that a retail store, apartment complex or other business has an obligation to those whom it serves to provide a physically safe property in the sense that no one is going to fall, get hit over the head or otherwise get into an accident and suffer a slip and fall or other injury as a result.

What some people might not realize, however, is that owners in some circumstances also have an obligation to keep their property reasonably safe from criminals who may intentionally hurt one of the owner's visitors or customers.

This is not to say that the owner of an apartment complex, hotel or business is responsible to prevent every criminal act that happens on its property, as oftentimes, a business owner is just as disturbed and hurt by the criminal activity as the next person. What New York law does require, however, is that a business put in at some security measures once they have good reasons to believe that crime is possible on the business property. In short, if a business owner could have reasonably seen criminal activity, they have some obligation to try to prevent it from happening on the property.

The consequences of a business owner's simply choosing to ignore crime can be quite serious. Obviously, getting robbed or otherwise assaulted while at a hotel, coming home to one's apartment or even while out doing business is traumatic. Moreover, as New Yorkers know, criminal activity often does end someone getting physically hurt or even killed.

When a New York landowner does not take reasonable security precautions, innocent people can get hurt. The landowner should expect then to pay these victims compensation for their losses.

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