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Walls v. Oxford Management Co

Law Dictionary

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Property Law Keyed to Cribbet

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 22 Ill.137 N.H. 653, 633 A.2d 103 (1993)

Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiff Walls was sexually assaulted on premises of an apartment complex managed by Defendant.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Absent exceptional circumstances, a landlord does not have a duty to protect tenants from criminal attacks by third persons. The implied warranty of habitability does not apply to impose any additional duties on landlords in the circumstance of criminal attacks on tenants by third persons.

Facts. On December 5, 1988, Plaintiff Deanna Walls was sexually assaulted in her vehicle parked on the premises of Bay Ridge Apartment Complex. The Defendants in this case are the owners of the apartment complex and the management of the complex. During the two years prior to the assault on Plaintiff there were eleven auto thefts, three attempted auto thefts, and thirty-one incidents of criminal mischief/ theft. No sexual assaults were reported. Plaintiff brought an action in federal court alleging that Defendants had a duty to hire competent management, provide reasonable security, a duty to warn residents of lack of security, and a duty to warn residents of the numerous criminal activities which had occurred. The Plaintiff alleges that Defendants breached the duties listed and that such breach was the proximate cause of her injuries.

Issue. There are two issues:
Does the landlord have a duty to secure tenants against criminal attack?
Is the implied warranty of habitability breached by criminal acts of third persons?
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