In July of 2013, Olivia Brown was murdered by a vagrant in the Lincoln Houses. The following year, her mother Crystal Brown, sued the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), which runs the Lincoln Houses project, claiming that NYCHA’s notoriously lax security was to blame for her daughter’s death.
The Bitemaster is not a lawyer and cannot say whether the City is immune from such suits or whether landlords generally are liable for the murder of their tenants, but the City has introduced a novel defense: they claim it was Olivia’s fault for living in the dangerous Lincoln Houses.
If you’re in a baseball stadium watching a game and you’re hit by a foul ball, you generally can’t sue. The doctrine is called “assumption of risk.” The idea is that baseball fans know the risks of attending a game and take those risks upon themselves.
That’s pretty much what De Blasio’s lawyers are asserting in this case:
“All the risks, hazards and dangers were open, obvious and apparent to [Brown] and said risks, hazards and dangers were openly and voluntarily assumed by [Brown],” said the documents, filed Thursday.
But shouldn’t the risks at least be prominently posted? I propose a sign such as: