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New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA)

In this negligence action, motion sequence numbers 001 and 002 are consolidated and disposed of in accordance with the following decision and order. Under motion sequence No.001, co-defendant 1873 A Realty Corp. (A Realty) moves for an order, pursuant to CPLR 3212, granting it summary judgment dismissing the complaint and all claims and cross claims. Co-defendant City of New York (the City) cross-moves for an order granting it summary judgment dismissing the complaint and all cross claims.

Under motion sequence #002, co-defendants New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA), and Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority (MABSTOA) move for an granting them summary judgment dismissing the complaint, all claims and cross claims. Co-defendant 1871 M Realty Corp. (M Realty) cross-moves for an order granting it summary judgment dismissing the complaint and all claims and cross claims. The plaintiff discontinued her action against the City but not against the remaining co-defendants. Based upon the following facts and law, MABSTOA’s and NYCTA’s motion should be granted under motion sequence # 002, but all other motions under motion sequence # 001 and # 002 should be denied, as a triable question of fact exists whether NYCAC § 7-210 still imposes a duty on the City to maintain bus shelters and bus stops.

Plaintiff sustained an injury to her person, at 1:30 P.M. on February 9, 2004, just after she was discharged from a NYCTA bus. Plaintiff, then 50 years old, suffered a fracture, requiring surgery and pinning, plus multiple disc herniations. Her injury occurred after she alighted from the bus and then, either after taking her first step, or a few steps, off the bus, slipped on ice at the bus stop location either in the street, on the curb, or on the sidewalk by the bus stop. Her husband, who also exited from the same bus ahead of her, did not slip and was not injured.

It is undisputed that there is a designated bus stop located directly in front of and in between the abutting premises identified as 1871 and 1873 Amsterdam Avenue. It is also undisputed that it had snowed several days prior to the accident. The abutting owner of 1871 Amsterdam Avenue is M Realty, and the abutting owner of 1873 Amsterdam Avenue is A Realty.

The accident occurred after the implementation of the new sidewalk law, Administrative Code of the City of New York (NYCAC) § 7-210, which now places the burden on the abutting landowner to maintain the sidewalk in a safe condition from the building to the street curb. NYCAC § 7-210 (b) provides in pertinent part:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the owner of real property abutting any sidewalk, including but not limited to, the intersection quadrant for corner property, shall be liable for any injury to property or personal injury, including death, proximately caused by the failure of such owner to maintain such sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition. Failure to maintain such sidewalk in reasonably safe condition shall include, but not be limited to, the negligent failure to install, construct, reconstruct, repave, repair or replace defective sidewalk flags and the negligent failure to remove snow, ice, dirt or other material from the sidewalk.”

The City’s position is simply that, subsequent to the implementation of the new sidewalk law, the abutting landowners became responsible for the removal of snow and ice, pursuant to NYCAC § 7-210, which it alleges, by way of the unique fact pattern in this case, includes the bus stop and the immediate area surrounding the bus stop.

M Realty and A Realty, in essence, present identical arguments in opposition to the City’s summary judgment motion, and in support of that portion of their injury summary judgment motions alleging it is not their duty to maintain bus stops. While they acknowledge that it is their responsibility as abutting landowners to keep the sidewalks free of snow and ice, they maintain that their duty exists only for that portion of the sidewalk extending from the edge of the abutting property to the curb and does not include the area where the bus stop is located.

To help you determine if your case falls within the contemplation of the law as regards the right to sue for damages, call the Bronx County Personal Injury Attorney and Bronx County Personal Injury Lawyers of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. Call us now.

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