Every year dozens of people are injured in staircase accidents in New York, some of them seriously. One common place for these accidents is in subway stations. The surfaces can be difficult to navigate-due to poor lighting, improper maintenance and disrepair. Recently, one video that went viral highlighted the danger of one particular stairwell at the Sunset Park Station on 36th Street.
Film maker Dean Peterson noticed the hazard after he tripped on the stair himself. He thought it was a fluke-a bit of clumsiness-then he noticed that other people were tripping too. He set up his camera and captured dozens of people tripping on the same step throughout the day. He posted the video online and within 12 hours over 300,000 people had viewed it.
Shortly after the video went viral, MTA workers showed up on scene to block off the offending staircase. An investigation revealed that the dangerous step was actually a different height than all the rest-just ½ inch higher. That’s all it took for so many people to trip.
Safety regulations state that the maximum height of any stair on public property is seven inches. There are allowable variances but only up to 3/8 of an inch. Rather than simply repair to offending step, the MTA engineers said the whole staircase had to be replaced.
Thankfully, in this case, nobody was serious injured. That’s not always so. Just recently an elderly man fell down a set of stairs leading to a subway platform and ended up actually striking the train.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a staircase accident in New York, contact a lawyer immediately to learn if you are entitled to compensation to pay for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. The property owner (in this case the City of New York or the MTA) may be responsible for the accident and ensuing injuries. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at 646-736-2777 or 212-385-1122 to learn your rights.