In New York City, Who Is Liable For A Defective Curb?
10/12/2009Much ink has been spent on the amendment to the law in 2003, which transferred liabiilty for most defective sidewalks from New York City to the owner of the adjacent property. (For more on this topic, please read "Why Defective Sidewalk Cases May Be More Difficult Than You Would Think.") But a recent decision from New York's Appellate Division, First Department, which governs Manhattan and the Bronx, sheds some light on a narrow, but important category of this law: liability for defective sidewalk curbs.
In Garris v. City of New York, the plaintiff fell when she tripped over a gap that was present in between the concrete and metal parts of a sidewalk curb. In dismissing the case against the owners of the property adjacent to the defective curb, the appellate court noted that New York City's Administrative Code specifically excludes the curb from the portions of sidewalk that these property owners would ordinarily be responsible to maintain. Although the appellate court did not expressly address this issue, Implicit in this decision is the Court's finding that the City of New York retains the responsibility to maintain properly sidewalk curbs.
Category: Slip / Trip and Fall Accidents
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