A New York City police officer is suing an apartment building after being bitten in the face while responding to a police call involving illegal drug activities.
It was nearing midnight when Lieutenant James Giblin and two other officers moved toward a suspected drug-dealing group of individuals. On seeing the officers’ approach, one member of the group tried to flee. Giblin attempted to stop the individual, and in the ensuing struggle the individual bit Giblin on the cheek.
Giblin ended up with 25 stitches; when the gash became infected several days later, the stitches had to be removed. Giblin claims in the lawsuit that this disfigured him so severely he must obtain reconstructive surgery on his face. In addition, he must monitor himself for infection by hepatitis and HIV/AIDS, among other illnesses.
Lawsuit Claims Ownership Acted Negligently
The lawsuit claims that the owners of the apartment building, Soloff Management Corp., knew of the dangers the building posed to anyone on its premises but did nothing to remedy it. Giblin claims that ownership failed to fix doors, install security cameras and otherwise provide adequate security to the building. Because of this, Giblin claims, the ownership of the apartment was negligent and responsible for his injuries by allowing the building to become a place where drug use, drug sales, prostitution and other criminal activities were common.
The lawsuit is somewhat unusual in that many circumstances similar to Giblin’s are resolved through workers’ compensation claims, as Giblin was acting in the line of duty. This lawsuit is a premises liability claim. In a premises liability claim against an apartment building owner, an individual can recover compensation for injuries if the owner of the building:
- Knows or should know about the hazardous condition
- Should realize that it involves an unreasonable risk of harm to those legally on the premises
- Acts negligently in failing to protect them against the danger
Consult a Personal Injury Attorney
This particular lawsuit delves into new legal territory because the injured victim is a police officer. However, the law allowing a renter to recover from the negligence of the building ownership is well established.
If you have been injured because of a landlord’s negligence, such as an unsafe stairwell, a lack of security at the building or any other preventable unsafe condition, contact a personal injury attorney to potentially recover for medical expenses and lost wages.