New York City’s elevated subway system has produced dangerous conditions and accidents caused by falling debris. City officials have not found a way to effectively contain broken fragments from more than 60 miles of elevated tracks.
As reported by CBS2 News, NYC Metropolitan Transportation Authority workers check the tracks regularly to discover potential problems. The awareness of the hazardous issue, however, means that the MTA has a duty of care to prevent further injuries.
Hazardous settings must present clear warnings to prevent injuries
When a hazardous elevated subway condition is present, officials must provide residents and visitors with reasonable warning signs to help them avoid it. Visible orange cones directing traffic around a potentially dangerous area may fulfill a duty of care.
Even though officials have placed nets underneath elevated tracks to catch falling debris, residents still incur damage from falling track fragments. If a resident sustains an injury from a falling object, the city can find itself liable for damages.
Injured NYC resident receives $110 million jury award
A 26-year-old NYC resident severely injured by a 10-foot railroad tie that fell on him filed a legal action for damages. While riding his bicycle underneath an elevated subway track, the falling railroad tie struck his spinal cord and left him paralyzed below the waist.
A construction worker waved the bicyclist through to pass, but the area did not have a barricade to prevent the cyclist from entering the falling-debris zone. As reported by WCBS 880 Radio, a jury awarded $110 million in damages for the resulting injuries.
The jury found the city liable for the construction worker’s negligence in allowing the bicyclist to pass without a safety barricade in place. The young man’s devastating bodily injuries will require him to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life. The jury based the award on the amount of lifelong care he will require, with about half of the total amount reflecting compensation for pain and suffering.
Filing a legal action may provide relief when local government fails to take the proper steps to protect pedestrians, motorists and cyclists. If you’re in an accident, contact us.