A deadly subway accident in New York City claimed the life of Subway Maintenance Supervisor James Knell. Knell was fatally electrocuted in April of 2010 after he slipped and fell onto the third rail of a subway line in the Rockways. Knell, 45, had been working the tracks for the past 13 years and was an experienced veteran.
A tragic accident in Flushing's Kissena Park took the life of a 30-year old woman and her unborn child early on the evening of August 4, 2013. Yingyi Li-Dikov, an Ithaca College graduate, had stopped to rest on a park bench with another woman when a massive limb from the oak tree above came crashing down on them both. Yingyi was pronounced dead at a local hospital after being struck in the head and body by the limb. The other woman was treated for injuries caused by falling tree branches and released.
Sidewalk grates are everywhere in New York City. How many of us ever really think about the danger just below our feet? Subway trains zip by at high speeds, live wires and scalding steam pipes snake through the underground, and some of the voids covered by those grates go down up to 8 stories. Sure, the vast majority of the grates are perfectly safe (other than posing a hazard for people walking in high heels) but there have been a surprising number of sidewalk grate accidents in New York City caused by faulty grates.
A bizarre manhole accident in Manhattan sent two people to people to the hospital during the early morning rush on November 17th. The odd accident occurred at the corner of East 44th Street and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan at roughly 6:30 in the morning. A manhole owned by Con-Ed erupted just moments before a taxi cab passed over it. The explosion sent the manhole cover (which weighs as much as 300 pounds) flying through the air like a missile. The cover landed on the hood of the vehicle, totaling the taxi, and injuring both the driver and the passenger. Both injured individuals escaped the wrecked vehicle; with the help of a passerby, the passenger was forced to crawl out through the minivan's sunroof.
A horrific department store accident in New York early this fall has claimed the life of a 54-year old mentally disabled man. The man was with a group of individuals, including an aide, from a group home where he lived when he somehow fell over a railing at a New York shopping mall and plummeted to his death. The tragic accident occurred on what was described as a routine day trip-something the residents of the home had done many times before in the past.
Two window washers working on the 68th floor of One World Trade Center had a harrowing experience when a scaffolding accident in Manhattan left them stranded, swinging from just one support cable. The mobile scaffolding was on the ascent on November 12 of this year when 41-year old Juan Lizama and 33-year old Juan Lopez (of Brooklyn) noticed ones of the cables had developed an unexpected amount of slack. The cable continued to play out, causing the platform to tilt dangerously, until the scaffolding was nearly vertical, leaving the two men supported by their safety harnesses.
The NYPD investigation into a bicycle accident in New York has concluded that the driver of a Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation "red bus" is to blame. The accident, which occurred on Roosevelt Island's Main Street, left a 29-year old Swedish model, Anna Maria Mostrom, functionally brain dead. While doctor's were hopeful, the injuries she has suffered we re likely irreversible.
New York City is rife with underground hazards. Because of the vast infrastructure below ground level, there are thousands of places across the City where thin metal grates or thin concrete slabs are all that stand between pedestrians and terrible falls. One such sidewalk accident in New York City could have claimed the life of a young woman last year. Thankfully, she escaped without major injury .
Cellar doors are a common site on City sidewalks in New York. They provide easy access to the below ground level structure but they also pose a dangerous hazard for pedestrians. This past summer a young man suffered severe injuries after falling through an open cellar door in East Harlem. This sidewalk cellar door accident in New York occurred in broad daylight and surveillance video captured the entire horrifying mishap.
Sidewalks are essential in New York, providing relatively safe havens for millions of pedestrians every day. But what happens when the sidewalks themselves become a hazard and who--if anyone--is responsible for sidewalk accidents in New York? The short answer to that question is usually the property owner provided the adjacent property is not multiple dwelling less than four families. For multiple dwellings less than four families, provided it is residential and owner occupied, it will be the City of New York. Generally speaking, the adjacent property owner or City is liable for the repair and maintenance of the sidewalks.