Troy police reported that a 17-year-old female has suffered serious head injuries, after falling at the abandoned Leonard Hospital building.[1] The girl, who fell 20 feet from a ledge, is now in a coma at Albany Medical Center.[2] It is reported that she was exploring the abandoned building with a group of friends at the time of the accident.[3] Sadly, she is just the most recent victim who has suffered serious injuries at this abandoned building. In June of 2014, a woman fell through the roof of the Hospital.[4] After she was rushed to Albany Medical Center, it was determined that she suffered severe spinal injuries.

For many years this particular building has been notorious for vandalism, squatters, and teen parties. Additionally, the abandoned hospital has gained a reputation of being haunted, which has attracted thrill seekers to its location. But before it became abandoned, Leonard Hosptal had been running for nearly a century before merging with St. Mary’s Hospital in 1995. The building stopped being used by late 1996 and has been vacant since then.  The City of Troy is now in control of the builiding and, as history has shown, has failed to keep the building safe, or at least, inaccessible to the citizens and especially young people who are attracted to the building.

Should the City of Troy be held responsible for this victim’s injuries?

According to the law in the State of NY, the City of Troy, as the owner of the building, can be held liable even if the young woman who was injured was a trespasser. What is important is whether or not this young woman’s presence at the abandoned building was reasonably foreseeable.  If the City of Troy, knew or should have known that people are getting into this dangerous building, the City has a duty to use reasonable care to prevent foreseeable injury.  In deciding whether it is foreseeable that people will go into this abandoned building the law considers that the building is located near a populated area and can be accessed and entered easily. Additionally, based on prior incidents at the building, it certainly appears that Troy has been on notice that this building is hazardous to citizens.

The City must take steps to either keep the building safe or make it inaccessible.  Allowing this attractive nuisance to remain in the City in its present condition will only lead to further injuries or deaths.

Bringing a case like this to court not only benefits the person injured, but also people in our community. If Troy were to be held liable for these falls, the City would be forced to take steps to insure others will not be injured as well. At LaMarche Safranko Law we understand that advocacy in the court room, often results in positive changes in our communities.  That is why we represent victims who have been injured in preventable incidents like this.