Torts Keyed to Dobbs
Medcalf v. Washington Heights Condo. Ass’n
Plaintiff became the victim of a violent assault as she waited in the lobby of Defendants’ apartment building. Her hosts struggled to admit her by using an electronic buzzer that did not work, while Plaintiff was assaulted. The jury indicated in interrogatories that the verdict for Plaintiff was based entirely on a finding that Defendants were negligent in failing to maintain the building telephone security intercom communication system to protect Plaintiff and others. The court held that the trial court should have entered judgment for Defendants as a matter of law, because Plaintiff failed to establish an essential element of negligence, proximate cause. The intervening criminal act of the assailant was not within the scope of risk created by Defendants’ lack of maintenance, because the primary reason buildings have buzzer systems is to protect residents, not guests.
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