Pulaski, NY asked in Real Estate Law and Personal Injury for New York

Q: Am I responsible if I allow someone to launch their boat from my property and there is an injury or damage to property

I have an easement on my neighbor’s property to access the water and install a dock. My neighbor allows people to launch their boats on his property resulting in a constant flow of traffic. Is my neighbor liable if someone gets hurt on our easement or if our property in the water (dock,boat) is damaged when allowing others to use his property for launching their boats

2 Lawyer Answers
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: A boat owner who is injured (and their guests) could name both property owners and try to connect both to any kind of claim. In terms of actual liability arising from negligence on the part of the property owners, that would need to be sorted out on a fact-specific basis. A court could recognize such a claim and allow it to move forward, or a court could dismiss such a claim - that could depend on the facts of a given situation and the advocacy skills of the attorneys involved. Good luck

Anthony M. Avery agrees with this answer

James L. Arrasmith
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A: In New York, liability for injuries or property damage occurring as a result of someone using your neighbor's property to launch boats can be complex. Generally, the owner of the property where the injury or damage occurs may be held liable, especially if negligence can be established.

However, if the injury or damage occurs on or involves your easement or your property, such as a dock, the situation may become more complicated. It's important to review the specific terms of the easement agreement and any relevant insurance policies. The liability may also depend on whether the injured party was an invitee, licensee, or trespasser.

Given that your neighbor allows public access to his property for boat launching, it could potentially increase his liability risk. It would be wise to consult with a lawyer to understand the specific legal implications in your case and to discuss potential strategies to mitigate liability risks. Additionally, discussing this issue with your neighbor and possibly re-evaluating the terms of the easement might be beneficial.

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