Defective Sidewalks

According to the New York City DOT website, the City has over 12,000 miles of sidewalks. Many portions of these sidewalks are, unfortunately, unsafe and may result in injury.

If you fall because of, for example, broken pavement, an uneven sidewalk, loose brick, or an uneven tree well, you may have a claim for damages against the City of New York or an abutting landowner.

Generally, the so-called New York City “Sidewalk Law”, NYC Administrative Code section 7-210, shifts liability from the City to non-residential abutting property owners.

An owner of non-exempt real property abutting a public sidewalk is liable if he or she: (1) created the dangerous condition; (2) had prior actual or constructive notice of its existence; or (3) enjoyed a special use of the public sidewalk. The City will remain liable, however, for any defect on any public sidewalk if it is established that it caused or created the dangerous condition alleged.

Section 19-152 of the New York City Administrative Code, entitled “Duties and Obligations of Property Owners With Respect to Sidewalks and Lots”, outlines property owners’ duties more specifically. It provides, in part:

The owner of any real property, at his or her own cost and expense, shall (1) install, construct, repave, reconstruct and repair the sidewalk flags in front of or abutting such property, including but not limited to the intersection quadrant for corner property, and (2) fence any vacant lot or lots, fill any sunken lot or lots and/or cut down any raised lots comprising part or all of such property whenever the commissioner of the department shall so order or direct. The commissioner shall so order or direct the owner to reinstall, construct, reconstruct, repave or repair a defective sidewalk flag in front of or abutting such property, including but not limited to the intersection quadrant for corner property or fence any vacant lot or lots, fill any sunken lot or lots and/or cut down any raised lots comprising part or all of such property after an inspection of such real property by a departmental inspector.

If you have been injured due to a defective condition on a New York City sidewalk, contact us today for a free consultation.

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