DeHaven Victorious in Dismissal of Personal Injury Lawsuit

December 2, 2016 | General Liability

George DeHaven won dismissal of a personal injury lawsuit pursuant to the attached Order dated November 22, 2016.  This lawsuit arose from a “trip and fall” type accident which occurred on the public sidewalk adjacent to St. Mary’s Church at Second Avenue and 15th Street in Manhattan. When George deposed the plaintiff, he showed her photographs of the area, and she indicated that she fell on, or in close proximity to a metal cover in the sidewalk, which turned out to be the cover of a “monitoring well” placed there several years before by the New York City Transit Authority. She marked the location on one of the photographs, which the court relied upon in making its decision.  The well was there to monitor subterranean water levels, as a prelude to the extension of the Second Avenue subway line.  Plaintiff proceeded in this case relying on Section 7-210 of the NYC Administrative Code, which requires abutting landowners to maintain the public sidewalks adjacent to their premises, and confers liability upon those landowners to persons injured as a result of the failure to maintain the sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition. George argued, however, that 7-210 did not apply, because of an exception requiring the owners of covers and grates embedded in the sidewalk to maintain them and an area of sidewalk extending outward from the cover or grate twelve inches from the perimeter. The court agreed, holding that it was clear from the plaintiff’s own testimony that the cause of her fall was either the cover itself or the broken sidewalk immediately adjacent to it.

The court has granted the motion and dismissed the complaint.


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  • George K. DeHaven

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