Late in the afternoon of Sunday, February 18, 2007, Shirley Rose Locario and her adult daughter, Angela Locario, took the subway into upper Manhattan from their home in Bronx County to shop at Marshall’s, a department store on 125th Street. With the shopping done, the two proceeded back towards the subway stop to return home.
Mrs. Locario related that in front of the State Building on 125th Street on the sidewalk by the statue of Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, there was a brick raised about two and a half inches. Her left boot got caught on it. She tripped and fell, with her face down on the brick. Photos showed in court that where the sidewalk joins the bricks leading to the crosswalk, the bricks are noticeably elevated by two and half inches.
Mrs. Locario sued the State of New York, owner of the State Building, to recover damages for the personal injuries she sustained. The State questioned Mrs. Locario’s estimate of the differential but comparison of the photos suggested that the two and a half inch differential estimate is within reason.
Eric Miller, assistant manager of the Powell State Office Building, testified that he has not observed any height differentials in the sidewalk that could be considered dangerous and a tripping hazard. The assistant manager, however, said he is not responsible for conducting inspection of the City sidewalks.
A source explained that the administrative code of the City of New York places upon property owners, and not the City of New York, the liability incurred on the sidewalk in front of, or abutting, the owners’ premises. Mrs. Locario’s trip and fall accident clearly occurred on the sidewalk in front of the Powell State Office Building, which is owned by the City of New York. Thus, the City is a property owner.
The expert pointed out that it is clear in this case that the height differential of more than two and a half inches of the bricks in the sidewalk was a dangerous condition that could make passersby trip and fall. The City, based on testimonies, also clearly knew of the dangerous condition of the sidewalk. The City is, thus, responsible for the injuries.
However, the insider said, Mrs. Locario is also at fault. Court testimonies pointed out that Mrs. Locario had not looked down, both just before her fall and from several steps away. Basing on her testimony, Mrs. Locario has never walked on the subject sidewalk before. The accident occurred at 6:30 in the evening and, thus, there was no natural light during the time of the accident. The source is of the opinion that Mrs. Locario should have been more alert to where she was headed. The only way that this would be criminal is if someone were deliberately trying to injure another.
It is unfortunate to suffer personal injuries and be involved in a lawsuit arising from negligence. New York Personal Injury Attorneys will stand by you and help see you through your case. They will argue your side and make sure that you and your loved ones are compensated.
Stephen Bilkis & Associates, with its New York Trip and Fall Lawyers, has convenient offices located throughout the New York Metropolitan area, including Corona, NY. The firm’s Attorneys can provide you with advice to guide you through situations where an injury resulted because of another’s negligence. Without these Attorneys, you may lose your rights which may cost you a significant amount of money.
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