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Policy Priority: Legislative-Apportionment

In the cast of a raped tenant, apportionment forces a jury to assign a percentage of blame to rapist and the landlord. In order to be found liable, the landlord must be apportioned (“assigned”) more than 50% of the blame for the injury. As a jury is likely to find the rapist to be “more than 50%, if not 100%, liable for the..injury,” the current system frees the landlord from any liability, even though s/he failed to maintain adequate security. If the rapist cannot be found, however, the limitation on liability of the landlord is removed and the victim may be able to recover fully for damages for his failing to provide reasonable security.

Either situation is less than ideal. If the rapist can be identified, the tenant is likely to be unable to recover any damages from the landlord despite their negligence. If the attacker cannot be identified, the victim is likely to receive a larger settlement from the landlord. As identified by the supporters of this bill, this is forces the victim into an untenable situation, where they must choose between “cooperating with law enforcement to find her attacker..[or] and not seeking to identify her assailant so that she can recover damages.. from the landlord in her personal injury action.”

The Alliance thus fully supports the current measure, A08644, which would ‘close the loophole’ and remove the apportionment aspect in these liability cases. Juries would no longer be forced to assign liability using a percentage system, and would thus be able to find both the rapist and the landlord liable (in cases of negligent security). This would ensure that victims are not forced to choose between a successful personal injury claim against a negligent landlord and pursuing a criminal justice case against their attacker. Civil actions of the type addressed in this bill, provide rape victims with another avenue of recourse in their pursuit of justice.




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Alliance staff members Laura Fidler, Kira Laffe and Katie Cain hold the Alliance banner at the Denim Day NYC press conference
Alliance staff members Laura Fidler, Kira Laffe and Katie Cain hold the Alliance banner at the Denim Day NYC press conference