Legal Memorandum: Applicable Jury Instructions in NY

Issue: Under New York law, what are the applicable jury instructions in a claim for damages due to an elevator stopping abruptly?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Applicable jury instructions; Claim for damages; Elevator
Jurisdiction: New York
Cited Cases: 19 A.D.2d 643; 884 F.2d 1556; 32 N.Y.2d 486; 75 N.Y.2d 680; 346 N.Y.S.2d 256; 347 N.Y.S.2d 22
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 05/01/2000

A detailed review of New York authorities reveals the following tenets regarding the applicable jury instructions. First, the jury should receive Pattern Jury Instruction 2:105, Liability for Condition or Use of Land – To Persons on the Land—Lessor’s Liability re Premises over which Control Retained, which, reads as follows:

A Landlord is under a duty to exercise reasonable care to keep in safe condition those portions of the premises over which the landlord retains control which the tenant is permitted to use.  That duty includes the inspection of such portions of the premises at reasonable intervals.  In order for plaintiff to recover, he must show that he was injured, that his injury occurred in a portion of the premises over which the defendant landlord retained control, that such portion of the promises was in defective condition, that the condition of the premises was a substantial factor in causing his injury, and that defendant knew of the defective condition for a period of time prior to plaintiff’s injury sufficient to permit defendant in the exercise of reasonable care to have corrected it, or that the condition had existed for a sufficient length of time that in the exercise of reasonable care defendant should have known of its existence and corrected it.  Reasonable care means that degree of care that a reasonably prudent landlord would exercise under the same circumstances.

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