Schemery Zicolello

Sandy damage could lead to dangerous property conditions

As many in Pennsylvania, and around the East Coast, know millions of people have been left to deal with the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy. According to local insurance adjusters many properties in the area are completely destroyed. Homeowners and businesses alike will now begin to turn their attention to clean up and rebuilding efforts.

As the cleanup continues, many people may not realize the potential premises liability issues that could stem from this super storm. At this point, there are many hazardous property conditions in those areas affected by the storm. In fact, many of the buildings in the area are listed in severe condition. A building is in severe condition when it is either open to the elements or unsafe for occupation. While other buildings do not have as much damage, they are still affected. Many are listed as having minor to moderate damage. In total, some are estimating the total damage could cost $10 billion.

Much of this damage will be covered by insurance and the properties will eventually be fixed. However in the meantime, there is the possibility of people getting injured because of the dangerous property conditions existing on some Pennsylvania properties. Hidden holes, broken staircases and other hidden dangers have potential to cause serious injuries.

Property owners, including businesses, have the responsibility to keep their properties safe. When someone is injured because properties are not safe, those injured could be entitled to compensation. Furthermore, if cleanup efforts or repairs on a property is done negligently and someone is injured the property owner could also be liable.

Source: The Express-Times, "Insurers waste no time in handling Sandy damage claims in Lehigh Valley, New Jersey," Pamela Sroka-Holzmann, Nov. 4, 2012

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Commonwealth v. Candice Steinbacher – Motion for Judgement Acquittal Granted

Motion for Judgment of Acquittal for a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) prosecution was granted by Lycoming County President Judge Nancy L. Butts, after Attorney Kyle Rude argues that the Commonwealth could not prove Ms. Steinbacher was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle. Ms. Steinbacher was arrested after Williamsport City Police believed she switched seats with her boyfriend in order to avoid an arrest for DUI.

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