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Tree Roots Are Inherent Property Condition (NY)

July 6, 2017

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A New York landowner has a duty to exercise reasonable care in maintaining property in a safe condition. The courts look to a variety of factors with respect to this duty, including the likelihood of injury to others, the seriousness of the potential injuries, the burden of avoiding the risk, and the foreseeability of a potential plaintiff's presence on the property. However, a landowner has no duty to protect or warn against an open and obvious condition that is inherent or incidental to the nature of the property, and that could be reasonably anticipated by those using it.
In <a href="">Commender v. Strathmore Ct Homeowners Association</a> plaintiff fell over a tree root in the side yard of her condominium unit in a common area.  Her suit against the homeowners association and the property manager was dismissed on the grounds  that the tree root was open and obvious and inherent to the nature of the property.  The plaintiff who knew of the tree root prior to her fall simply did not present a triable issue of fact for a jury.
Thanks to Laurent Tarangelo for her contribution.
For more information, contact Denise Fontana Ricci at <a href=""></a>.


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