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Owner Not Liable For Unforeseeable Criminal Acts

June 19, 2012

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In <em>Rodriguez v. Camaway Realty Inc</em>., Rodriguez was allegedly attacked by an intruder while at the defendant’s building and sued Camaway under a general negligence theory.  The lower court denied Camaway’s motion for summary judgment.  However, the appellate court reversed based on a finding that the alleged criminal activity was unforeseeable.  Both parties testified that they knew of no prior criminal activity at the premises.  Rodriguez did submit an affidavit from the building superintendent who stated that he had previously been struck by a tenant’s boyfriend, but the court noted that such an attack was insufficient to establish the necessary notice of prior criminal activity.  Therefore, the court held that the attack on Rodriguez was unforeseeable as a matter of law.
Thanks to Sandy Debbas for her contribution to this post.
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