Residents of New York, especially those who live in a homeowner association, may wonder how an HOA could potentially enter into a premises liability case. This issue came up in a recent civil case involving an incident that took place in a Las Vegas HOA.
The plaintiff was a teenager who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a playground within the Lamplight Village at Centennial Springs in 2013. After he sat down on the playground's swing set, the metal crossbar above him broke and fell on his head, crushing the left side of his skull and leaving him with brain damage. According to the plaintiff's attorney, the swing set had broken several times previously.
The suit held several organizations accountable, including the HOA itself, a playground equipment manufacturer and an industrial fencing company. In February, the jury found the Lamplight Village at Centennial Springs HOA guilty and ruled that the organization should pay $20 million in damages to the plaintiff. Since the settlement amount exceeds the HOA's insurance policy, homeowners in the association may have to contribute.
The claim filed by this teenager is just one example of a premises liability claim. From icy sidewalks to wet floors, there are many conditions that could lead to a property user's injuries. When such cases arise, victims may want to consult with an attorney.
The lawyer can evaluate the claim to make sure the victim did not contribute to the accident, estimate a settlement and start building the case up with investigators. They could see if the property owner was negligent in the past, gather any police reports and medical documents and look for solid proof like surveillance footage. The lawyer could then negotiate for a settlement or go straight to litigation.