There are many different types of accidents an MTA injury lawyer will deal with. Many accidents occur in NYC subway stations. In a recent case, a subway rider slipped and fell while walking down a subway station staircase A discarded Metrocard left on the stairs caused the fall. The subway rider suffered a severe fracture to his leg requiring surgery. In cases involving a slip and fall on debris, to avoid fault, the entity responsible for maintaining the premises must show they did everything required to keep the area clean.
The injured subway rider sued the New York City Transit Authority (the MTA). The rider’s MTA injury lawyer claimed that the presence of discarded Metrocards inside the station was a “recurring condition.” Also, that it was dangerous. In response, the MTA claimed a subway cleaner was following his regular cleaning schedule inside the station. The MTA argued it was not responsible for the rider’s injuries
The Injury Lawyer’s Questioning of the MTA Station Cleaner
A review of the rider’s evidence disputed the MTA’s position. The MTA injury lawyer questioned the subway station cleaner under oath. The station cleaner testified that discarded Metrocards on the stairwell was a recurring condition. It was common at that specific subway station. He also confirmed that the condition required cleaning. The station cleaner further admitted that he did not always follow the written cleaning schedule. He did not follow the cleaning schedule on the date of the accident. The station cleaner did not know when the staircase was last cleaned. He also did not know the last time it was inspected prior to the accident.
The MTA’s Arguments to the Judge
The MTA asked the judge to dismiss the case. It argued that the employees responsible for cleaning the subway station were not given notice of the Metrocards on the staircase. Thus, the employees lacked enough time to have cleaned the cards before the accident. The MTA further claimed it had an adequate plan for cleaning the station. This plan included regular inspections of the station. The plan also included cleaning any debris found during the inspection. The MTA injury lawyer representing the rider strongly argued against the motion.
The Court’s Ruling
The lower court agreed with the MTA and dismissed the case. On appeal, the higher court reversed the decision and and agreed with the MTA injury lawyer.
In New York, a property owner responsible for the maintenance and inspection of a premises must show that it lacked any prior notification of the hazard that resulted in a person’s injuries. This applies directly to NYC subway stations. Notification can be “actual notice”, such as an employee seeing a broken step or handrail at a subway station. This can also be “constructive notice.” Constructive notice means the dangerous condition existed for a long enough time that the responsible person should have known about it and set it right.
Here, the MTA needed to show that it followed a reasonable cleaning routine on the date of the accident. It also needed to show when it last inspected or cleaned the station’s staircase. Also, whether it found any discarded Metrocards or debris during that inspection. In this case, the MTA injury lawyer was able to reverse the lower court’s decision. The higher court agreed with the injured party that the MTA was unable to show a lack of notice. Based on the subway cleaner’s testimony and lack of knowledge as to whether he complied with cleaning procedures, the appellate court denied the request to dismiss. The court ruled that the MTA did not prove that it complied with the cleaning schedule for dealing with the problem of discarded Metrocards.
Why an MTA Accident Lawyer is Valuable
This personal injury case shows how a property owner responsible for maintaining a building or public area must have employees who follow a regular schedule. When a person slips and falls on garbage or debri, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after your accident. Our investigators can go to the site and speak with any witnesses or employees who observed the dangerous condition. By investigating the accident scene, we can prove that a condition was dangerous. We can also prove that a property owner was aware of the hazard, or should have been aware of it. The MTA injury lawyers at the Platta Law Firm are ready to help you in any slip and fall accident.