Crowd-control barriers created hazard, fallen pedestrian claimed

Amount: $650,000

Type: Verdict-Plaintiff

State: New York

Venue: New York County

Injury

Type(s):

Case Type:

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

Parties

Plaintiff(s): Danielle Lerman (Male, 83 Years)

Plaintiff

Attorney(s):

Alan M. Greenberg; Law Offices of Alan Greenberg, P.C.; New York, NY, for

Danielle Lerman

Plaintiff

Expert(s):

Defendant(s): City of New York

Robert Goldstein M.D.; Orthopedic Surgery; New York, NY called by: Danielle

Lerman

Defense

Attorney(s):

Kevin Connolly; Assistant Corporation Counsel, Zachary W. Carter, Corporation

Counsel; New York, NY, for City of New York

Facts:

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.

Injury:

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

suffering.

Result:

The jury found that the city was liable for the accident. It determined that Lerman’s damages totaled

$650,000.

Danielle Lerman

$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)

Actual $582204.71

Award:

Trial Information:

Judge: Kathryn E. Freed

Trial Length: 6 days

Trial 3 hours

Deliberations:

Post Trial:

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

appealed.

Editor’s Comment:

This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s and defense counsel. Additional

information was gleaned from court documents.