Two counties of New York entered into a contract with a Catholic charitable group to provide residential domestic services. In October 1988, a woman contacted the charity asking their help to escape the domestic violence perpetrated against her by her husband.
A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said the woman was afraid of her husband and she needed a safe place to go. All the residential facilities operated by the charitable organization were full. The employee of the charitable group suggested that she go to a shelter in the next county but the woman did not want to go so far away.
The employee of the charitable organization then contacted social services and asked for their approval to place the battered woman in a motel. The employee drove over to the house of the woman and picked her up and took her to the motel. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said she battered woman was bruised and intoxicated. The employee of the charitable organization volunteered to drive the woman to a hospital but she refused.
While the battered woman was all alone in the motel room, her husband came looking for her. He knocked on the woman’s door and the woman thought that the employee of the charitable organization had returned. There was no peephole on the door and there was no chain lock. The woman opened the door and screamed to see that her husband had found her.
The man pushed his way into the room, and then he assaulted and raped his wife. When the employee of the charitable organization returned the next morning, the wife informed her of the assault and the rape.
The woman then filed this complaint against the charitable organization, the motel owner and the county for damages. A Nasau Sex Crimes Lawyer said she alleged that their negligence rendered her more vulnerable to the attacks of her husband by which she suffered.
The defendants filed motions for summary judgment asking for the dismissal of the complaint. The only issue before the Supreme Court was whether there exists a cause of action.
The Court ruled that the victim of domestic abuse did not have a cause of action against the motel owner. Innkeepers and landlords have a duty to exercise reasonable caser and take precautions to safeguard and protect their guests and tenants against foreseeable criminal acts of third persons. The motel owner proved that although its doors had no dead bolt, no security chain and no peephole, there was a curtained window next to the door through which the guest can look through to see who was knocking on her door. The motel owner also proved that there were no prior criminal activities ever recorded or observed to have occurred in their motel. So they had no prior notice of any foreseeable criminal activities.
The Court also granted the motion for summary judgment of the county. It ruled that the municipality cannot be held liable for injuries to an individual without any proof that there was a special relationship between the municipality and the injured woman here. The municipality did not assume any duty to protect the injured woman. A Queens Sex Crimes Lawyer said there were no contacts between the injured woman and the employees of the municipality and the employees of the municipality made no promise to act on which the injured woman relied on.
The Court denied the charitable organization’s motion for summary judgment. The Court ruled that the charitable organization was an independent contractor of the municipality and they were tasked to provide domestic violence services. The woman had sufficiently proved that there were material issues of fact that must be tried before a jury to determine the liability of the charitable organization.
A New York City Domestic Violence lawyer can help secure a temporary order of protection against an abusive husband or partner. Legal counsel can also present evidence and arguments to extend a temporary order of protection. Best of all, a skilled lawyer can help you claim damages against your abusive spouse or partner who committed acts of domestic violence against you and caused you injury. Contact Stephen Bilkis and Associates, ask for the assistance of any of our experienced lawyers to obtain compensation against your abusive spouse or partner for the injuries you sustained. Stephen Bilkis and Associates have offices in the greater New York area.