Crowd-control barriers created hazard, fallen pedestrian claimed
State: New York
Venue: New York County
hip – fracture, hip, hip replacement, fracture, femoral neck
leg – fracture, fracture, femur
Government – Municipalities
Worker/Workplace Negligence –
Slips, Trips & Falls – Slips, Trips & Falls, Trip and Fall
Dangerous Condition of Public Property –
Case Name: Danielle Lerman v. City of New York
Date: March 12, 2014
Plaintiff(s): Danielle Lerman (Male, 83 Years)
Alan M. Greenberg; Law Offices of Alan Greenberg, P.C.; New York, NY, for
Defendant(s): City of New York
Robert Goldstein M.D.; Orthopedic Surgery; New York, NY called by: Danielle
Kevin Connolly; Assistant Corporation Counsel, Zachary W. Carter, Corporation
Counsel; New York, NY, for City of New York
On Nov. 19, 2011, plaintiff Danielle Lerman, 83, tripped on one of a set of crowd-control barriers that a
police officer had nested on the south sidewalk of East 79th Street, alongside its intersection at Madison
Avenue, in Manhattan. Lerman fell, and she sustained an injury of a hip.
Lerman sued the police officer’s employer, the city of New York. She alleged that the police officer
negligently created a dangerous condition that caused her accident. She further alleged that the city was
vicariously liable for the officer’s actions.
Lerman claimed that eight to 10 barriers were nested alongside a newspaper-dispensing machine. Lerman’s
counsel claimed that standard police practices allow the nesting of no more than five barriers in one group.
Lerman claimed that the barriers reduced the available space between the curb and a caf ‘s outdoor dining
area. She estimated that a walking area of no more than 4 feet in width remained, and she claimed that
pedestrian traffic blocked her view of the barriers’ feet. A witness claimed that he had observed five other
pedestrians trip on the barriers prior to Lerman’s fall.
Defense counsel contended that the barriers were an open, obvious condition that Lerman could have easily
avoided. He claimed that a responding police officer reported that an 8-to-12-foot-wide section of sidewalk
remained after the barriers had been placed.
Defense counsel also contended that the barriers had been deployed as part of a public-safety initiative, for
which governmental entities are entitled immunity. However, Lerman’s counsel contended that the accident
did not occur within proximity of any public event that would have necessitated crowd control.
Lerman sustained a displaced fracture of her left femur’s neck, which is a component of the left hip. She was
placed in an ambulance, and she was transported to Lenox Hill Hospital, in Manhattan. She underwent total
replacement of her left hip. She subsequently underwent about two weeks of inpatient physical rehabilitation.
Lerman claimed that she suffers residual pain and residual impairment of her ambulation. She sought
recovery of past medical expenses, damages for past pain and suffering, and damages for future pain and
The jury found that the city was liable for the accident. It determined that Lerman’s damages totaled
$200,000 Personal Injury: Past Medical Cost
$300,000 Personal Injury: Past Pain And Suffering
$150,000 Personal Injury: future pain and suffering (6.6 years)
Judge: Kathryn E. Freed
Trial Length: 6 days
Trial 3 hours
Judge Kathryn Freed granted defense counsel’s motion to reduce the award for past medical expenses. The
award was reduced to $132,204.71. Thus, Lerman’s recovery totaled $582,204.71. Defense counsel has
This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s and defense counsel. Additional
information was gleaned from court documents.