Asked in Personal Injury and Environmental for New York

Q: So if someone is a alcoholic and falls in a building stairs , breaks back of his head can you sue the building ?

4 Lawyer Answers
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
Answered
  • Environmental Law Lawyer
  • Little Neck, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: It's possible they could. It could depend on whether there was a defect in the stairs or other hazardous condition. New York is a comparative negligence jurisdiction, but a claimant's share of liability would be more dependent upon whether they were impaired at the time rather than an existing health condition. Although the description here is concise, there could be a number of factors to consider in making a legal analysis of such a situation. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

Jonathan R. Ratchik agrees with this answer

Jonathan Bradford Ripps
Jonathan Bradford Ripps
Answered
  • New City, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Hi there - there are many factors that need to be considered, but if there is indeed a negligent or dangerous condition that helped cause the fall, there still may be the ability to file a lawsuit. You should definitely consult with an attorney in order to get more feedback.

Good luck!

Jon

Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer

Michael H. Joseph
Michael H. Joseph
PREMIUM
Answered
  • White Plains, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: It depends. If the person fell because of a dangerous condition, such as a broken step, the fact that they are an alcholic, does not prevent them from suing. But if they were drunk at the time, that certainly would indicate some comparative fault, which would reduce their recovery.

Tim Akpinar and Jonathan R. Ratchik agree with this answer

Jonathan R. Ratchik
Jonathan R. Ratchik
Answered
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: It really depends on why the individual fell. If there was a dangerous condition on the stairs which caused him to fall and about which the owner had notice, he could sue the building. That he may have been intoxicated at the time does not relieve the building of its legal responsibility to maintain the stairs in a reasonably safe condition. That said, its share of responsibility may be reduced depending on the extent to which his intoxication contributed to his fall. Keep in mind that in order for the building to have any legal responsibility it needs to have had notice of the dangerous condition: either actual notice (it knew of the dangerous condition) or constructive notice (the dangerous condition was visible and apparent and existed for a long enough period of time before his fall such that the building should have discovered it).

Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer

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