Sidewalk Grates Pose a Real Hazard in New York City

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.

For example:

  • In 2007 a woman fell into a Con Edison trench when the sidewalk grate collapsed under her feet. She landed inches from a live electrical transformer carrying over 13,000 volts.
  • In 2008 a man fell eight feet when the grate he was walking over collapsed. During the fall he sustained injuries that sent him to the hospital for days.
  • In 2009, 32 young girls fell through a sidewalk grate outside a Brooklyn yeshiva resulting in multiple broken bones.
  • One young man even suffered a gash to his leg that required 30 stitches to close.

That's not counting all of the slip and fall accidents, twisted ankles, torn ligaments, and back injuries caused by grates that aren't flush with the sidewalk's walking surface.

Determining who is liable for injuries sustained in grate-related sidewalk grate accidents in New York can be difficult. The company or legal entity which owns the grate (the MTA, Con Edison, or even the City of New York) is responsible for repairing and maintaining these hazards. In cases where individuals have fallen over or through defective grates, lawsuits have been filed in order to recover for lost time from work, unpaid medical bills and pain and suffering for the injuries sustained in the accident.

The best course of action for any injured individual is to contact a New York City sidewalk grate accident attorney immediately to protect your rights. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.

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