We settled a case for $100,000 where the client tripped on a “hidden” curb within Rockefeller Center. The client sustained a fractured arm.
The client, a tourist from California, tripped on a curb in front of the GE Building which is pictured above. She was leaving the retail store in the right corner and was crossing the street to meet her boyfriend.
The street in front of the building is a private street closed to traffic. Rockefeller Center paved the roadway and curb in similar, decorative stone. In comparison, typical city sidewalks are grey concrete, and the roadway is black asphalt. This provides a “visual cue” to the pedestrian that she should be ready to step-down from the curb to the road. Furthermore, there are benches and planters in the roadway; motor vehicles were banned, and this was a pedestrian only zone. The arrangement gave the illusion that there was no roadway and that the front of the building was one plaza connecting to the back of the skating rink.
There had been other, similar falls. After our client’s accident Rockefeller Center placed yellow hazard tape on the curb’s edge at regular intervals.
It is interesting to note that there was nothing wrong with the roadway and curb based on the building codes. The curb and roadway were in excellent condition. However, the key to the case was that the construction and design did not provide a “visual cue” to the pedestrian she was approaching a curb.
The case was settled at a private mediation by associate Michael Goldfarb.
If you have been injured by a trip and fall on a sidewalk or any other type of accident, please call us at 800-581-1434 or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prior case results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
Mark E. Seitelman, 8/1/09, www.seitelman.com.