From gyms to water parks, there are many places in New York where members, customers or visitors are typically asked to sign a liability waiver. It's a step a retail or property owner often takes in an attempt to avoid legal responsibility should an injury occur. As for whether or not such waivers can hold up in court, the answer is, "it depends."
Every year in New York and across the U.S., thousands of people file lawsuits involving shopping-related injuries. These injuries normally result from slips, trips and falls in stores, malls and other retail establishments and tend to be minor. In serious cases, though, they may result in head and neck injuries, broken bones and sprains.
Homeowners in New York who are planning a get-together full of swimming, eating and drinking should be aware of the safety risks. Things may break, people may slip and fall, and others may misbehave themselves. Homeowners insurance will only cover so much, so homeowners should be clear with their insurance agent about the presence of high-risk features on their property like swimming pools and trampolines.
On Jan. 28, a young mother fell to her death while trying to carry her 1-year-old baby's stroller down a stairway in a New York City subway station. The tragic accident occurred at Manhattan's Seventh Avenue station near 53rd Street.
New York residents may be interested to learn that a volunteer at the Toledo Zoo was injured on Jan. 26 when she approached the feeding area of a group of orangutans. The injuries were non-life-threatening, but the incident may still give New York zoo-goers pause. Many incidents in zoos are preventable, and injuries might arise because of negligence.
Many New York households include dogs that are often viewed as treasured family members. Despite the affection shown dogs by their owners, they have the potential to impose liability for injuries when they bite people. Roughly one-third of homeowner's liability insurance claims arise from dog bite injuries. The Insurance Information Institute has determined that the average settlement totaled $37,051 in 2017. Dog bit insurance claims went up by 2.2 percent that year and costs rose by over 11 percent.
International visitors flock to tourist attractions in New York every day. A recent lawsuit filed by a Guatemalan family highlights the issue of tourist venues providing safety warnings to people in languages other than English. Universal Orlando Resort is the target of a lawsuit that assigns liability for a man's heart attack to the resort operator because it failed to display warning signs in Spanish.
Property owners in New York are supposed to maintain a safe environment for their employees, their customers and other lawful entrants. The failure to do so is called property negligence, and it could range from the failure to uphold reasonable standards for care and upkeep to the failure to address hazardous conditions. Owners may be guilty of negligence if they do not meet building codes, public safety laws and generally accepted business practices.
New York has its own laws regarding dog bites, but the following are some of the basic rules. First of all, canine professionals, including dog trainers, dog groomers and veterinarians, are not eligible for compensation because the risk of a bite comes with their job. Those who trespass on a property, provoke the dog, tease it or attack its owner cannot qualify if they are bitten.
The family of a deceased man filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Amazon in the New York Supreme Court. The suit claims that Amazon acted negligently in providing disability compensation, which they allege led to his death. The 53-year-old former employee died in November 2016 at his home of a heart attack.