July 2, 2020
While you kick back and relax, perhaps at a favorite destination down the shore, we thought you might have an interest in this recent New Jersey Appellate Division decision in an unfortunate case involving a rooming house in Point Pleasant Beach.

The New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed dismissal in favor of a rooming house for lack of duty in a matter involving wrongful death and survival claims arising from fatal stabbing of a rooming house resident by another resident in the case of  Estate of Campagna v. Pleasant Point Properties, LLC, __ N.J. Super. __ (App. Div. 2020) .  The defendant rooming house owner was unaware that the assailant had recently been released from prison after serving a sentence for a violent crime. Plaintiff retained a property management expert that opined, among others, that the landlord had a duty to conduct background checks on prospective tenants, and that the failure of the defendant to do so was the proximate cause of decedent’s death.

The trial court rejected the plaintiff’s argument that the defendant rooming house owner owed a duty to the decedent. Following a lengthy analysis of common law principles and statutes governing rooming houses, the Appellate Division affirmed; holding that the plain language of the statutes and regulations governing rooming houses do not require owners to conduct criminal background checks of prospective residents. It also declined to extend a common law duty to conduct background checks, and noted that such a duty would have adverse public policy ramifications including inhibiting the ability of persons with criminal histories to obtain affordable housing.

All The Best Wishes To Everyone For A Safe And Healthy 4 th Of July Weekend!
Attorney Advertising Disclaimer: This publication is designed for general information only. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship in a particular matter
673 Morris Avenue, Springfield, New Jersey 07081 ǀ    973-912-5222
     110 William Street, New York, New York 10038 ǀ    212-571-011
60 West Broad Street, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 10018 ǀ    610-433-8400

New Jersey   *   New York    *   Pennsylvania