Homeowner not Liable for Defective Sidewalk

Case: Velez v. City of New York

Court: Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York

Date: 7/25/12

From: New York attorney Gary E. Rosenberg (personal injury and accident attorney and lawyer; serving Brooklyn and Queens; Queens accident attorney)

**************************************************

RELATED POSTS:

Jury Verdict Dismissing Sidewalk Trip-and-Fall Case Not Against the Weight of the Evidence

SHE DIES IN TRIP-AND-FALL ACCIDENT ON SIDEWALK; CASE DISMISSED BECAUSE OF "TRIVIAL DEFECT"

Sidewalk Accidents

**************************************************

From: This is a standard trip-and-fall sidewalk accident case. Years ago, the City of New York was held responsible for broken or defective sidewalks. That rule was changed to hold the owner of the property next to the broken sidewalk responsible for accidents caused by negligence. This took a lot of claims away from the City of New York, and left the adjacent property owner the duty to fix a dangerous or unsafe sidewalk.

However, like so many legal rules there are exceptions. Such is the subject of this case.

Plaintiff tripped and fell in Brooklyn in April, 2006, when the new sidewalk rule was in effect.

In asking the Court for summary judgment, the homeowner showed that the house next to the sidewalk was owner-occupied, and a three-family residence. Thus, the owners fit an exception to the sidewalk rule, leaving the City of New York in the case as a defendant.

Held: The homeowner is not liable for any sidewalk defect and the case against is dismissed as against the homeowner.

Categories