Every year, nearly nine million Americans are sent to the emergency room due to an unexpected fall. Of these injuries, over 25,000 accounted for fatalities in 2009, with elderly Americans facing a risk four times greater than others of a fatal fall. While the conditions surrounding these accidents vary, it is particularly unfortunate when such events could have easily been avoided by an owner or employer taking proper preventative measures. A wet floor is one example of a hazardous environment that can usually be fixed or at least clearly identified before an accident occurs.
If you are the victim of … Read the rest
Winter weather always brings added risks of injury due to snow and ice. Pedestrians can slip and fall on snow and ice. Vehicles can slide on slick road surfaces. So too does winter’s cold weather bring additional risks to construction sites and those who work there or pass by. Winter weather can increase the risk of falls at construction sites and of malfunctions of heavy machinery, such as cranes and hoists, causing injury and even death.
The New York City Buildings Department has suggested 10 tips for property owners and contractors on how to “winterize” their construction sites:
Fire safety … Read the rest
In Custodi v. Town of Amherst, 2012 WL 5305789 (October 30, 2012), the plaintiff broke her hip when she tripped and fell while rollerblading in her residential neighborhood. She fell as she attempted to rollerblade from the sidewalk into the street when one of her skates allegedly struck a two-inch height differential where the edge of defendants’ driveway met a drainage culvert that ran the length of the street. The Court of Appeals rejected the defendants’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit by contending that plaintiff necessarily assumed the inherent risk of a fall by choosing to rollerblade on their … Read the rest
Famous Long Island and Brooklyn steakhouse Peter Luger lost a bid to have a slip-and-fall case against it dismissed when Nassau County Supreme Court Justice F. Dana Winslow found that circumstantial evidence supported plaintiff’s proposition that the brown oily substance she slipped on was steak juices one of its waiters spilled. In Chang v. Peter Luger of Long Island Inc., NYLJ 1202567877271, decided August 9, 2012, the plaintiff slipped on a step leading to one of the restaurant’s dining rooms and alleged that the restaurant was liable for negligently maintaining its premises. Based upon the decision, it seems that all … Read the rest
If I had a dollar for every time a defendant argued in a summary judgment motion that it was not negligent because the condition that caused my client’s accident was open and obvious. With words that every defense counsel (and Judge) should never overlook, the Appellate Division, First Department opened a recent opinion with the sentence: In this personal injury action, we reiterate the well-established principle that a finding of open and obvious as to a hazardous condition is never fatal to a plaintiff’s negligence claim. It is relevant only to plaintiffs comparative fault. Saretsky v. 85 Kenmare Realty Corp… Read the rest
Entitled Experience Is Not Enough, the new multi-lingual campaign is designed to emphasize that all workers must use proper fall protection, such as safety harnesses, guardrails, and netting, regardless of how long they have worked in the construction trades and how much experience they possess. A worker falling is the most common construction related accident in New York City, representing 42% of all accidents reported to the Department in 2010. Since 2008, 16 construction workers have lost their lives due to the lack of basic fall protection. In February, two ironworkers, ages 49 and 51, were killed when they fell … Read the rest
Slip and fall cases can be notoriously difficult cases in which to prevail, especially when the location of the accident is in a public area, such as a sidewalk or a parking lot. A key requirement is often the existence of prior written notice to the municipal property owner. But recently the Court of Appeals in San Marco v. Village/Town Of Mount Kisco, 2010 WL 5104993, 2010 N.Y. Slip Op. 09197 (December 16, 2010), held that since the black ice hazard at issue may have been created by the municipality’s negligent snow removal efforts, and, if so, the municipality may … Read the rest
A lawsuit was filed in the United States Court for the Eastern District of New York on April 21, 2009 to force the New York City Housing Authority to repair and maintain its more than 3,300 elevators. The lawsuit cites numerous occasions when NYCHA buildings are completely without elevator service. The lawsuit also describes instances when these buildings have only one working elevator, leaving residents waiting in long lines to use the functioning car. Other frequent malfunctions cited include elevator doors without sensors, elevators which fail to stop at particular floors, or which stop above or below floor level, making … Read the rest
Common falls can have an unpredictable impact on the bodies of older people. Falls are now recognized as complex, often preventable events with multiple causes and consequences, calling for a wide range of interventions, both psychological and physiological, that many patients never receive. Even falls that cause only minor can be a real warning sign that something serious is wrong.
A recent article in the New York TImes by John Leland on November 7, 2008, contained an interesting discussion about falls and the various outcomes that can result from them.Each year, 1.8 million Americans over age 65 are injured in … Read the rest