On behalf of Jeff Antin of Antin, Ehrlich & Epstein, LLP, Attorneys at Law posted in Municipal Liability on Thursday, January 3, 2013.
New York City residents depend on city government to take care of roads and to keep them protected from dangers on roadways through the use of metal guard rails, signs and regular maintenance. A recently filed lawsuit, however, reminds us that sometimes city government fails in this duty, leaving its citizens vulnerable to forces beyond their control.
A mother is suing the city for ignoring safety hazards that existed, which contributed to the injuries she and her daughters received. The injuries occurred when a car crashed into their home — a crash that the mother claims could have been avoided because the city was aware of the danger that the intersection at the corner of their home posed. According to the mother’s attorney, the liability claim is justified since the same home was struck by a vehicle 10 years earlier.
The city is being charged with failing to design a safer intersection and improper road maintenance. As a result of the crash, the victim and one of her daughters have had to undergo a series of surgeries and skin grafts in their recovery process. The woman is suing the city for $20 million in damages.
The driver of the vehicle was determined to be drunk at the time of the crash; prosecutors have filed several charges against him, including vehicular assault. However, the victim maintains that had the city installed a guard rail at the intersection, the injuries might never have occurred. Citizens should feel that their city has their best interests at heart. When residents become victims of a local government’s lack of action, it may be time for them to take action of their own.
Source: Staten Island Advance, “Staten Island woman injured as car struck home sues city for $20M,” Frank Donnelly, Dec. 26, 2012