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People v. Nelson

128 N.E.2d 391 (1955)

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People v. Nelson

New York Court of Appeals

128 N.E.2d 391 (1955)

Facts

In 1951, Nelson (defendant) purchased a multiple dwelling in which he had lived for the past 15 years. The deed given noted numerous violations of the multiple-dwelling law in New York, including lack of adequate fire protection such as sprinklers, and the real estate agent also told Nelson of the need for fire escapes. Although Nelson had made measurements for the installation of fire escapes, none were ever installed. In 1952, in an attempt to repair a leaking roof, Nelson started a fire that spread throughout the building. Nelson tried to alert the tenants of the presence of a fire but was too late, and two tenants burned to death being unable to escape from the building. The fire marshal testified that, after the fire, Nelson admitted to him that he knew he was supposed to have fire escapes and sprinklers in place. Nelson was convicted on two counts of misdemeanor-manslaughter because both tenants died due to a lack of adequate fire protection as required by the multiple-dwelling law.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Dye, J.)

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