Plaintiff Awarded $1.5 Million for Defendants’ Neglect of Sidewalk

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

On October 16, 2008 the plaintiff, a 53 year old maintenance worker, fell on the sidewalk of 65th Place at its intersection at Myrtle Avenue, in the Glendale section of Queens, New York. Plaintiff brought a lawsuit against both the City of New York, as owner of the property, and the adjoining premises’ owners. Plaintiff alleged that the defendants were negligent in their maintenance of the sidewalk. It was further alleged that the defendants’ negligence created a dangerous condition that caused her fall. The plaintiff discontinued the case against the city, however; the city remained a third party defendant in the action.

Plaintiff suffered multiple fractures to her dominant arm with damage to the arm’s radial and ulnar nerves. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital where she underwent open reduction and internal fixation surgery. 6 weeks later she underwent the removal of hardware, and the implantation of a fixation plate. Surgery was followed up with seven months of physical therapy, and the allegation that the she now suffers a permanent residual diminution of the strength of the right arm.

The case went to trial on liability only. The Jury found the adjoining premises owners were liable for the accident, but assigned 65 percent of the liability against the city as a third party defendant. Prior to the start of the trial’s damages phase, the parties negotiated a settlement.

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