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Why Proving Notice in a NYC Trip & Fall Case Isn't Easy


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10/9/2011
Jonathan Cooper
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As noted elsewhere, such as in "How to Prove a Trip and Fall Case Against New York City," the most critical element needed to succeed on a trip and fall claim under New York law is demonstrating that the defendant either created the defective condition, or had notice of it, i.e., the defendant knew or had reason to know of the defect, but failed to correct it in a reasonable time.

When the area in question is under the City of New York's domain, such as the roadway, there is an additional hurdle that needs to be cleared: the City must be on written notice of the defect.

So, you would assume that once you can show that the defect was mapped out and handed to the City (as has been done by the Big Apple Pothole Corporation) you've satisfied that requirement, right?

Not so fast.

In Adamson v. City of New York, a decision that was handed down on September 27, New York's Appellate Division, Second Department held that it's not enough to have the defect marked on a map; it has to be from the most recent map. As the Court stated, "[F]or the purposes of prior written notice, 'the City properly requires that prior notice be traced to the most current Big Apple map on file, i.e., the map that is closest in time to the date a defect is alleged to have caused an accident" (Katz v City of New York, 87 NY2d at 244).

Category: General

Jonathan Cooper
Employment Litigation and School Negligence Lawyer

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