Francisca Madrid sued the City of New York and ASN Westmont LLC c/o Archstone-Smith Operating Trust, owner of 730 Columbus Avenue, to recover damages for permanent injuries she sustained as a result of a trip and fallaccident.
Ms. Madrid fell at the corner of a street in front of 730 Columbus because of an alleged height differential of one inch between two sidewalk flags. She said the cement was not straight and that she tripped over the part that was higher. In court, she relied on the affidavit of an investigator, Miguel Cantos, who confirmed that the differential between the sidewalk flags was approximately one inch. Ms. Madrid said the City and ASN were negligent in the maintenance and control of the sidewalk when they allowed a dangerous and defective condition to exist. She, however, later dismissed all her claims against the City.
ASN denied liability and argued that the defect in the sidewalk is trivial, and thus, is not actionable. ASN also argued that it did not create the defect in the sidewalk or have actual or constructive notice of it. ASN presented to court the testimonies of two company representatives who were unanimous in saying that they were not aware of any complaints or accidents occurring on the sidewalk on the date of Ms. Madrid’s accident or at any time before or after. According to the testimony of ASN’s Vice-President of Regional Services, who was responsible for overseeing repairs and renovation work to the sidewalk surrounding 730 Columbus, the company did not authorize or paid for any repairs or renovation work on the sidewalk during the time of the accident.
According to a study, a property owner may not be held liable for trivial defects not constituting a trap or nuisance over which a pedestrian might merely stumble, stub his or her toes, or trip. The expert pointed out that, in this case, after determining all facts, including the width, depth, elevation, irregularity and appearance of the defect and the time, place and circumstance of the injury, the defect is very minimum to be actionable.
The expert noted that Ms. Madrid’s testimony in court showed that she was walking a little rapidly looking ahead, and there was nothing obstructing or blocking her passage or view of the sidewalk. The report also noted that Ms. Madrid traversed the accident location on a regular basis because she worked in the area but never noticed the uneven condition of the sidewalk before she fell. The expert, citing sources, pointed out that the injuries occurred during daylight hours on a clear day and the ground was dry.
The rep added that Ms. Madrid’s reliance upon Mr. Cantos’ affidavit is improper. The New York Injury Lawyer said Mr. Cantos visited the site only three years after the incident. Mr. Cantos’ testimony lacked details to prove that there was a defect in the sidewalk. No criminal charges were made.
The trip and fall accident was unfortunate and could have cost the life of a loved one. There are New York Trip and Fall Attorneys who will stand by you and guide you through your case to make sure you and your loved ones are compensated.
Stephen Bilkis & Associates, with its New York Injury Lawyers, has convenient offices in the New York Metropolitan area. Our Attorneys will guide you through situations where an injury resulted because of another’s negligence.
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