Imagine stepping up to a crowded bus stop to wait for a ride then disappearing 15 feet into the ground below. That’s exactly what happened to a man earlier this fall during a freakish sidewalk accident in New York City. And the whole incident was caught on security video footage.
The accident happened at the bus stop on Third Avenue in the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx (near the intersection of 183rd Street). The 30-year-old victim can be seen on the video footage simply disappearing in an instant as the concrete below him gave way. He was trapped in the void below street level for nearly half an hour while EMTs arrived and struggled to find a way to safely extricate him from the hole. The victim’ brother told a news media outlet that the man was unable to move at all in the confined space and had rats crawling over him as he waited for rescue.
When FDNY firefighters were finally able to pull the man from the gaping hole in the sidewalk, they transported him to a nearby hospital where he was treated for relatively minor but painful injuries—including a potentially disfiguring abrasion to his face.
The Department of Buildings investigated the incident while the Department of Transportation commented that it had issued a sidewalk violation for the location nearly three years prior to the accident. In the agency’s eyes, the defect was the responsibility of the property owner to fix.
Under the New York city administrative code, responsibility for sidewalk accidents adjacent to a commercial property is assigned to the owner of that property. However, determining liability for a particular accident could be difficult, depending on the circumstances.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective sidewalk flagstone, faulty concrete, a poorly maintained vault or elevator, or any other defect, contact an experienced New York City sidewalk accident attorney today to safeguard your right to compensation. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel at 800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122 for your free consultation today.