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Property Law

Can You Stop Drones from Coming onto Your Property?

DronesDrones are becoming popular in all walks of life, from hobbyists to real estate agents to professional wedding photographers. While drones can be quite useful in providing aerial views and can be fun to fly, like any technology, there’s always the possibility that something could go wrong.

Whether it be due to operator error or an actual malfunction in the drone itself, a drone can fly at high speeds and crash into people, causing critical, disfiguring, and even deadly injuries. Drone injuries becoming more prevalent is a great reason to stop drones from coming onto your personal property – but can you?

Radar Jammers

Radar jammers, like the Blighter Anti-UAV Defense System (AUDS), are able to scan an area for unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) and when one is detected, the system will enable a radio frequency designed to jam the signals of the drone. The drone will no longer be connected to the controller and cannot be flown nor will the drone be able to relay visual information back to the controller.

Radar jammers can be installed outside your home or on a gate or post on your property, but it’s important to be aware that this solution may protect your privacy but it could also increase your risk of injury by drones. If a drone does come onto your property and your radar jammer jams the signal, the drone could come crashing down and potentially harm anyone who happened to be in the way. Radar jammers are legal to operate in Massachusetts and New Hampshire but are currently against the law in Washington DC, Nebraska, Utah, Oklahoma, California, Minnesota, Colorado, and Virginia.

Create a “No-Fly Zone”

You can aim to keep drones out of your property altogether by signing up for NoFlyZone, a database that lists several drone manufacturers and their drones. When you enter your address into the database, the built-in GPS systems of these drones will not allow the drones to fly into the area you have specified as a “no-fly zone.”

Unfortunately, not all drone manufacturers are listed in this database, so there is a possibility that a drone may still find its way onto your property. However, this is a great first step to protecting yourself against drone intrusion and injuries. As the demand for privacy and protection against drones grows, the manufacturers listed should grow and it’s likely that eventually, a database will exist for all drones.

Have You Suffered a Drone Injury?

Have you or a loved one been injured by a drone? If so, it’s likely that someone else’s negligence was a factor in the incident, be it the operator or manufacturer of the drone. At Mazow | McCullough, PC, we understand how devastating drone injuries can be. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss compensation for the damages you’ve suffered by calling 855-693-9084 or 978-744-8000.

Massachusetts Landowners Now Responsible for Snow & Ice

Massachusetts homeowners now risk being sued for slip-and-fall accidents due to snow and ice due to a new ruling by the state’s Supreme Judicial Court. Under the new law, homeowners are legally responsible for clearing any snow or ice that could cause injury to others.

A Landmark Slip-and-Fall Decision

An article in the Boston Globe notes that the decision came about as the result of a lawsuit filed by Emanuel Papadopoulos against the Target store company and the Weiss Landscape Co.

Hired to clear snow and ice from the Target property at Liberty Tree Mall in Danvers in 2002, the Weiss Landscape Co. piled up a bank of snow near a handicapped parking space. This snow melted and froze into ice.

Mr. Papadopoulos, a 76-year-old man from Peabody, slipped on the ice and broke his hip. He then sued the two companies for damages.

Overruling the Lower Courts

Lower courts had ruled in favor of Target and Weiss Landscape, based on rules that made a distinction between artificial and natural ice, but the higher court overturned them. The Supreme Judicial Court stated in its ruling:

“We now will apply to hazards arising from snow and ice the same obligation that a property owner owes to lawful visitors as to all other hazards: a duty to ‘act as a reasonable person under all of the circumstances including the likelihood of injury to others, the probable seriousness of such injuries, and the burden of reducing or avoiding the risk.’ ’’

The Supreme Judicial Court stated the ruling will be put into effect immediately and will also apply retroactively to lawsuits now pending.

The Question of Property Law

If you have any questions about property law and how this ruling might affect your slip-and-fall case, contact the attorneys Robert Mazow and Kevin McCullough at Mazow|McCullough, PC for a free legal consultation. We are here to help.

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